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CPAP alternatives to treat Sleep Apnea in Farmington Hills


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CPAP therapy has long been held as the gold standard when treating sleep apnea. With CPAP therapy, a mask is attached to a machine that supplies pressurized air to keep the patient’s airway open. Unfortunately, many people find the masks claustrophobic, ill fitting, or cumbersome to sleep with, and are unable to tolerate the device. Fortunately, there are alternatives to CPAP therapy, which are easier to tolerate.

Some alternatives similar to CPAP are the APAP machine, the BiPAP machine, and the CPAP with C-Flex machine. The APAP machine uses an algorithm that senses breathing changes and adjusts the air pressure automatically during sleep, which provides a more comfortable sleeping experience. The BiPAP machine adjusts the pressure delivered to the patient when inhaling and exhaling. For patients who require a higher pressure when inhaling, it can be uncomfortable to exhale against the same pressure level. This machine will alleviate the issue by reducing the pressure on the exhale. CPAP with C-Flex is another option for those patients whose air pressure needs are 3cm or less.

In addition to the airway pressure machines, there are surgical alternatives to CPAP. These surgical interventions are designed to minimize or completely alleviate the possibility of an airway obstruction during sleep.

  • Adenotonsillectomy removes the patients’ adenoids and tonsils; lymphatic tissues located where the nasal passages meet the throat.
  • Nasal Surgery is another option for those patients with airway obstructions caused by a deviated septum or other nasal passage inflammation or airway narrowing.
  • Mallixomandibular Advancement (MMA) surgery adjusts the upper and lower parts of the jawbone to enlarge the space behind the tongue and soft palate.
  • Tracheostomy is used when all other methods to treat the sleep apnea have failed. A breathing valve is surgically inserted into the windpipe. The valve is closed during the day to allow the patient normal breathing and speaking and opened at night to bypass the airway obstruction.
Probably the most comfortable and least invasive alternative to other described therapies for sleep apnea are these two oral dental devices:

  • Mandibular advancement devices (MAD) look similar to the mouth guards used in sports. The goal of the device is to push the lower jaw down slightly and pull the tongue forward to minimize the obstruction. These devices will not alleviate the sleep apnea in its entirety and they may be used in conjunction with CPAP.
  • Tongue-retaining mouthpieces are designed to adjust the position of the tongue during sleep. The device is placed on the tip of the patients tongue and rests on the lips.
For best results, the devices are fitted professionally by a dentist. In the Farmington Hills area, Dr. Richard S Bernstein, DDS has years of experience treating patients with sleep apnea using these simple and comfortable devices. Contact Dr. Bernstein today and schedule your consultation online, or call 248.636.2100. As a distinguished and experienced leader in dentistry, Dr. Bernstein will help you, or your loved one, once again achieve a good night’s sleep.


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