Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that thousands of people suffer from every year. One of the most frequently prescribed treatments is a CPAP machine, which pumps continuous positive air pressure and where the machine gets its name.
There are other methods, of course, that patients can use if a CPAP machine is not a viable option for any reason. Talk with your sleep doctor about some of these alternatives if you have sleep apnea but would prefer an alternative treatment plan:
Medical Weight Loss
In general, the greater a patient’s weight, the harder it is for their airway to remain stable and open. This is why so many sleep apnea patients also happen to have above-average weight, because the added weight further collapses the airway. Losing weight helps reduce this obstruction, and therefore opens the airway. For some sleep apnea patients, their treatment might just be as simple as returning to a healthy BMI range, and there are programs and even some medication that doctors can prescribe to guide the process.
It is the hope that with the reduced weight comes a more open airway, thereby alleviating the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, if not outright eliminating them.
Another popular appliance for patients with obstructive sleep apnea is a mandibular advancement device. These devices physically stabilize the jaw to maintain an open airway while sleeping.
Night Shift is a monitor from Advanced Brain Monitoring that vibrates when its user begins sleeping on their back. It’s worn at the back of the neck, and increases intensity in vibration until the user shifts their sleeping position. Snoring occurs most frequently when people sleep on their backs, so this product gently encourages the user to move into a different sleeping position and therefore stop snoring. It is worth noting, however, that people with neck, shoulder, or back pain, or a pacemaker, should opt for a different solution, as the Night Shift could interfere or negatively affect those conditions.
Winx is a machine that anyone who suffers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea should be able to try. Instead of a CPAP machine, which produces oxygen for the user, the Winx keeps the tongue and soft palate from falling back, subsequently blocking the airway. It uses a light vacuum and mouthpiece to accomplish this. Since it’s a newer therapy, not all insurance policies will cover it, but depending on your coverage, it could be an option.