If you’ve been diagnosed with the sleep disorder, sleep apnea, you likely have heard of at least one treatment option: continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy. Delivered via a mask that is worn over the face while you sleep, CPAP therapy forces air into your airway, propping the airway open and allowing you to breathe as you sleep. Long considered the “gold standard” in sleep apnea treatment, CPAP therapy is not without fault. While it can be effective when used, many people who are prescribed CPAP therapy do not use it as prescribed because the mask and tubing is uncomfortable, or the machinery is too complicated to operate at home.
Now, a new study has found that CPAP may not be as good as it was initially thought to be. The study, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that CPAP’s ability to reduce the risk of conditions like stroke over time is not as strong as it was initially thought to be.
Whether this is due to noncompliance with wearing a CPAP device as prescribed or failures of the therapy itself is not clear, but doctors are now calling for more studies to find out why these startling results may have occurred.
Thankfully, if you have sleep apnea, there are other treatment options to explore if you’re not a fan of CPAP therapy. Mandibular devices, or MAD’s are a great way to get similar results to CPAP therapy without the awkward mask and tubes. A mandibular device is custom fit to your mouth, and props the airway open without the use of forced air. Many patients find this more comfortable.
Mandibular devices are also much easier to clean and care for, much easier to travel with, and work whether you have electricity or not.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, Dr. Abelar can help. He offers mandibular device solutions in his office that can help get you breathing comfortably and sleeping soundly again. If you are interested in learning more about a mandibular sleep orthotic, please contact Dr. Abelar’s office today for a consultation and more information.