Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly condition. Once diagnosed with sleep apnea, people should seek treatment because it is literally a life-and-death situation.
Usually, a sleep doctor in Rochester prescribes CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to treat sleep apnea. While this works for many people, from a third to a half of people prescribed CPAP quit using the treatment, putting themselves at risk for the deadly complications of sleep apnea.
If you are unhappy with CPAP, know that you are not alone. Many people give up on CPAP for these common reasons. Giving up on CPAP doesn’t mean giving up on sleep apnea treatment. If you can’t stand CPAP, talk to a Rochester sleep dentist about CPAP alternatives.
One of the most common complaints people have about CPAP is the mask. CPAP masks strap over the face. They might go over the nose and mouth, be nose-only, or be mouth-only. Some people can find a mask they can sleep with, but others can’t sleep with any style of CPAP mask.
Rigorous Cleaning Routine
CPAP machines require rigorous cleaning. Some parts of the machine should be cleaned daily, while others require at least weekly cleaning. Cleaning the CPAP machine involves taking it apart and cleaning all the parts thoroughly. Then the machine has to be fully dried before use again. For some people, this cleaning routine is too much of a nuisance.
Another reason why people give up CPAP is that they start to get more infections. Nasal infections, respiratory infections, and ear infections might all increase after starting to use CPAP. These infections might just be annoyances, but they might sometimes be serious infections like pneumonia.
While people who clean their CPAP regularly are less likely to see an increase, cleaning doesn’t eliminate all infection rate increases.
Can’t Get Pressure Right
CPAP pressure is necessary to keep your airway open. The pressure must be strong enough to achieve this therapeutic effect. However, a pressure that’s too high can be uncomfortable. Some people working with their doctor can manage to find the right pressure for their CPAP, but others find that the therapeutic level of CPAP is just uncomfortable.
Many people find that the CPAP mask just feels too restrictive. For some people, the mask itself can induce feelings of claustrophobia and panic. This is especially true for masks that cover the mouth and nose. For other people, the problem is the hose that binds them to the CPAP machine, which makes them feel trapped and unable to move freely while they sleep.
CPAP is supposed to force air into your lungs. However, when it’s doing that, some of the air might go down the wrong pipe and end up in your stomach. This leads to bloating, discomfort, and gassiness, including burping and flatulence. Sometimes this effect can last for hours each day.
No Support from Doctor
You can resolve many CPAP problems with support from your doctor. However, many sleep doctors consider their job done when you get your CPAP, and nobody follows up to help you resolve your problems.
Skin Irritation or Breakouts
With CPAP, you have many things contacting your face. The mask, the straps, and the tube can all irritate your skin where it touches. This can lead to waking up every morning with red lines on the skin or developing acne. For those susceptible, breakouts are already hard enough to control without the extra difficulty caused by a CPAP mask.
In addition to the daily cleaning routine, getting CPAP ready to use every night can be a nuisance. You have to put the machine back together, add water to the humidifier, and fit your mask before bed. For some people, this doesn’t seem worth it.
Irritation of Mouth, Nose, and Throat
The airflow from CPAP can be irritating. People often feel discomfort in their mouth, nose, and throat. Sometimes this is just a matter of dryness, which can be reduced by using a humidifier. Other times, the airflow itself causes irritation, and it’s harder for people to get comfortable.
CPAP Alternatives in Rochester
If you are tired of CPAP but don’t want to go back to suffering from sleep apnea, consider alternatives. Get good sleep at night. Feel energized in the morning. Enjoy better health–all without CPAP. Let a sleep dentist at Rochester Advanced Dentistry help you get a comfortable, convenient, and effective sleep apnea treatment.