Why CPAP Treatment for Sleep Apnea may not Work

Categories: Sleep Disorders

cpap may not workSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

A CPAP machine remains the go-to method of treatment for patients suffering from sleep apnea, but it’s not the only way to treat this sleep breathing disorder. For many people, it’s not even the right way. Despite its widespread use, CPAP treatment is not for everyone. Your sleep apnea dentists in Santa Cruz at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry want to review three reasons that CPAP treatment may not work to resolve your sleep apnea, leaving you at risk of health-related diseases.

How does CPAP work?

CPAP is an abbreviation for continuous positive airway pressure, which is provided through a machine that keeps air flowing through the airway in a mask that is worn when a person goes to sleep. This continuous airflow helps hold open the airway throughout the night, preventing the blockages or collapses of soft tissue that restricts the flow of air to the lungs. People with severe, untreated cases of sleep apnea experience these blockages hundreds of times per night.

Using a CPAP does have some risks

Wearing the mask can be problematic in and of itself. That mask is worn night after night, throughout the night, with no interruptions or breaks. This means that all of the dust, debris, and oil that accumulates on your face in a typical day and stays in contact with the mask. Is it any wonder then that irritated skin is a common complaint of sleep apnea patients who use CPAP?

Chronic illnesses or allergies can develop as a consequence of using CPAP. People who start using a CPAP machine when they sleep may notice they start getting sick more often. It might take the form of a sinus infection that never seems to go away or a case of strep throat that just keeps occurring. Even by diligently cleaning your CPAP machine, germs and bacteria still can survive inside the equipment.

Mold or mildew can form in the machine and its tubes if not cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. Inhaling these particles can have a major negative impact on your health.

In addition to health risks, CPAP also can cause difficulties or discomfort in various areas of life, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble sleeping because of the noise emitted by the CPAP machine
  • Hindrance to intimacy
  • Feelings of embarrassment or low self-esteem from having to use the machine
  • Bulky and cumbersome during travel
  • Inconvenient to maintain

There are other options for treating sleep apnea

At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we prefer to use oral appliance therapy to treat cases of sleep apnea. This entails wearing a custom-made oral appliance when sleeping that, when worn, applies gentle pressure to guide the lower jaw forward. This creates more room in the mouth for the tongue, while also helping to maintain an open airway throughout the night.

To learn more about how we can help patients with sleep apnea get the rest and relief they need, contact our office at (831) 438-4411.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.