Looking for a CPAP Alternative?

CPAP, Celebrity Smile Spa, sleep apnea, mandibular advancement device

Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP is often considered the “go-to” therapy for people with sleep apnea. And for some people, it does provide a safe, effective treatment that both relieves symptoms and reduces the health risks associated with sleep apnea. But for others, CPAP winds up being very uncomfortable, and many people don’t use their mask and equipment the way they’re supposed to (every night), which means they don’t achieve the benefits of CPAP — and they’re still at an increased risk for serious medical problems.

At Celebrity Smile Spa, Dr. Safar helps patients relieve sleep apnea symptoms with custom treatments that don’t rely on CPAP machines. If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms or if you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, scheduling an office visit is a good first step toward learning about the options she offers so you can get the best treatment based on your needs and your comfort level.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that causes your breathing to be interrupted during your sleep. About 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which means they’re at an increased risk for heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and mood disorders including depression. Worse, as many as 80 percent of those with moderate and severe sleep apnea are undiagnosed. For people with advanced forms of sleep apnea, their breathing can be interrupted hundreds of times a night, and because these interruptions can be so brief, you might not even realize it’s happening.

There are three primary types of sleep apnea:

Identifying the symptoms of sleep apnea

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, but here’s the problem: You can still have sleep apnea even if you don’t snore, so it’s important to know the other symptoms as well. Common symptoms include:

Since many symptoms occur during sleep, it can be difficult to recognize them. If you have a sleep partner, ask them if they’ve noticed the nighttime symptoms, like teeth grinding, restlessness while you’re sleeping, snoring, or gasping for air.

Diagnosing sleep apnea typically requires a sleep study to measure your breathing patterns, brain activity, and other factors that could indicate you have apnea. Once you’re diagnosed, it’s time to decide on a treatment.

Alternatives to CPAP

CPAP therapy uses a mask and tubes connected to a machine that forces air into your airway during sleep, preventing the airway from collapsing. Wearing a mask and dealing with the CPAP equipment can be a hassle, so it’s important to consider all your options to make sure you pick the one that’s best for you.

Mandibular advancement device

Also called MAD, a mandibular advancement device is similar to a night guard that’s worn to prevent clenching and grinding. The guard is designed to fit over your upper and lower teeth. Tiny hinges help gently position your jaw slightly forward to help keep your airway open while you sleep. Since the device is custom made for you, it’s designed to be comfortable during wear.

Tongue-retaining device

A tongue-retaining device looks similar to the MAD device, but instead of moving your jaw slightly forward, the device keeps your tongue from drifting backward into your airway during sleep.

Get the sleep apnea therapy that’s right for you

Without treatment, sleep apnea can increase your risk for life-threatening medical issues, including cardiovascular disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, book an appointment online today to learn about treatment options that can help you enjoy better health.

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