If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, chances are your doctor will also advise you to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to help improve the quality of your sleep. According to the American Association for Respiratory Care, up to 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, while another 10 million remain undiagnosed.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which a person temporarily stops breathing in the middle of sleep. When a person is sleeping, other body parts go to sleep as well, which also includes the muscles that keep the throat open so that air can flow freely into the lungs.
Once these throat muscles begin to relax and close down, they block the airway passages and cause the person to snore and have difficulty breathing.
The Disadvantages of Using a CPAP Machine
CPAP machines are typically used to treat patients suffering from sleep apnea. However, many patients refuse to use one in their sleep. Some people find the mask uncomfortable to sleep in; others say that the device makes them feel claustrophobic and that it does not allow them to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Other people also find the device too bulky and cumbersome to carry, making it inconvenient for traveling. There are also others who complain of skin breakouts and irritation.
CPAP Machine Alternatives
Discomfort and inconvenience should not be a reason for you to continue suffering from sleep apnea. Serious dangers can arise from untreated apnea, which is why I do not recommend giving up entirely on therapy simply because you don’t like CPAP machines. An untreated apnea can lead to serious health conditions, and the lack of sleep can also affect your everyday focus and productivity.
If you don’t want to use a CPAP machine, don’t give up just yet—there are plenty of options available for patients who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. Other alternatives that treat mild and moderate apnea are nasal strips and oral appliances. There are also minimally invasive surgeries that you can try, such as palate coblation, laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, and balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon Sinuplasty Can Help You Deal with Sleep Apnea
A balloon sinuplasty can help you deal with your sleep apnea if the nasal congestion is exacerbating your symptoms. While it will not completely cure you of sleep apnea, it can improve your breathing while you sleep and help you manage your symptoms.
At this point, selecting the best surgery appropriate for your condition is critical. You can consult with a Los Angeles sinus doctor or a sleep specialist to learn what would be the next best thing to a CPAP machine.
Here at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute, we understand that a CPAP machine might not be the best choice for you. We can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty. Please call or drop by the Institute for an initial consultation.