Combined Sleep Apnea Therapy – Covington, GA
The Best of Both Treatments
Just like any other health problem, sleep apnea does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Sleep apnea doesn’t affect everyone equally and therefore needs to be treated on a case-by-case basis. While many are able to find total relief with CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy, sometimes each method is not enough to treat symptoms on its own. If that is the case, there is a third treatment option, known as combined sleep apnea therapy in Covington, GA, which can help patients sleep soundly throughout the night. If you aren’t sure what exactly it is or how it works, we encourage you to keep reading!
How CPAP Therapy Helps You
The CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, is widely considered to be the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment and is very well-known. The way it works is quite straightforward. First, the patient wears a facial mask that is attached to the CPAP’s air pump. This pump forces oxygen into the patient’s mouth while they sleep, keeping the throat clear and the airway unobstructed. Many patients find this device extremely uncomfortable, however, despite its effectiveness.
While the facemask can make you feel constricted or even claustrophobic, the machine itself is also very loud, especially at the higher settings. This can not only affect the person using the CPAP but anyone who may be sleeping nearby. CPAP machines are also bulky, making them difficult or impossible to travel with. If you don’t like feeling restrained while sleeping, you may find its use difficult.
With all of these issues in mind, it’s important to recognize that, according to multiple studies, 50 percent of people stop using the CPAP machine within the first year of use.
How an Oral Appliance Helps You
If you’re looking for a solution that is light, silent, easy to use and extremely portable, you will likely find solace in the use of oral appliances instead of the CPAP machine. If you have difficulties with CPAP or you want to avoid dealing with it altogether, you should know that oral appliances only require wearing a small, custom-made appliance to bed every night. This piece gently shifts your jaw forward, preventing the airway from becoming blocked during the night.
Keep in mind that only patients with mild to moderate levels of sleep apnea will likely benefit from this approach alone, but it does provide a far more comfortable solution. Therefore, it may not be a viable treatment on its own.
How Combined Therapy Helps You
Through this solution, we combine both CPAP and oral appliance therapy. Not only do you wear a small oral appliance to bed, but you also wear a small nasal mask that is attached to a CPAP machine. This option is ideal for those who cannot find relief from individual treatments. It also helps those who would like to lessen the issues associated with the CPAP machine.
When you already have an oral appliance, you can easily adjust your CPAP machine to a lower setting. Not only can you reduce the amount of discomfort you experience, but you can lower the volume of the machine itself. Overall, combined therapy helps you sleep more consistently and use their treatments more effectively.
What are the Benefits of Combined Therapy?
If you can’t find relief from CPAP or oral appliance therapy alone, you’ll be happy to learn that there are many benefits from combined therapy:
- Better Comfort : With combined therapy, you only need to wear a nasal mask when using a CPAP machine, rather than a full facial one which can feel incredibly claustrophobic. With the help of the oral appliance, the CPAP can be put on a lower setting, which causes much less noise and reduces the amount of air being forced into the mouth and throat.
- Ease of Use: When it comes down to sleep apnea treatment, patient compliance is one of the biggest issues dentists are faced with. If the patient isn’t comfortable or the treatment is too difficult to use, they will stop using treatment over time. In order to protect them from the worst consequences of sleep apnea, combined therapy mitigates these issues. This makes it much easier for patients to utilize their treatments, avoid the worst problems caused by sleep apnea, and improve their overall health.
- Truly Effective: Based on a study coming from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, combined therapy actually showed a decrease in the number of apnea events. These are events where the patient stops breathing temporarily. What’s even more telling is that it stopped apnea events more than a CPAP machine alone. When left untreated, a patient experienced 6 apnea events per hour. With CPAP therapy, they experienced four per hour. With combined therapy, it was reduced even further to just two per hour. This proves that combined therapy is truly effective at reducing apnea-related episodes.
- Added Convenience: If you currently have a CPAP machine, you’ll quickly learn how difficult it actually is to take outside of the house. Most patients simply leave it at home, forcing them to deal with their sleep apnea when traveling. At least with an oral appliance accompanying their trip, they don’t have to go without sleep apnea therapy entirely.
Am I a Candidate for Combined Therapy?
At Covington Sleep Center, Dr. Stephen Dean will highlight all of your potential treatment options. If you have issues with your CPAP, he will likely recommend combined therapy, especially if you cannot get complete relief from an oral appliance alone. He’ll work with your sleep doctor to find a personalized solution that works for you. This could be combined therapy, but not necessarily.
Call Our Covington Sleep Apnea Team
Want to start waking up in the morning with actual energy again? Ready to sleep through the night and not feel chronically fatigued any longer? Feel free to contact Covington Sleep Center to schedule your next consultation. Of course, we always encourage patients to take the Epworth assessment first, which gives us everything we need to determine your current risk for sleep apnea. After you have completed it, one of our team members will be in contact with you within the next 24 hours to schedule your next appointment.
Covington Sleep Center does everything it can to pinpoint the exact cause of your sleep issues and build a treatment plan that works for you. From diagnosis all the way to treatment, we are here for you. Every patient deserves restful sleep; if you can’t recall the last time you felt rested in the morning, please give us a call!
What is Sleep Apnea? Oral Appliance Therapy Types of Oral Appliances What We Do