CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, but it can only work if you comply with it.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s important to find the right sleep apnea treatment. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to many other health concerns, and some of them, like strokes and heart disease, can be life threatening. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, but a CPAP machine will only work for you if you actually use it.
CPAP Therapy Compliance by the Numbers
- 1 – 3 weeks – One study found that roughly half of all CPAP users will stop using their CPAP machines after one to three weeks of use.
- 30 – 50 percent – Another study found that between 30 and 50 percent of CPAP users don’t like the treatment.
- 60 percent – Current research suggests that only 60 percent of CPAP users will use their equipment for more than a few months, which means that 40 percent of users don’t even make it that far.
- 80 percent – Of the CPAP users who say that they do use their CPAP machines, 80 percent of them don’t use them enough to adequately protect them from the risks of sleep apnea.
Why do so many people have trouble complying with CPAP therapy?
#1. Mask Discomfort
The mask is one of the most important aspects of CPAP therapy, but many people have difficulties adjusting to wearing a mask while they are asleep. In some cases, the mask simply doesn’t fit well and can be adjusted, but in other cases, it’s virtually impossible for users to adjust to falling asleep while wearing a mask. Some people also experience claustrophobia when they wear their CPAP mask at night.
#2. Noisy Machinery
If you are someone who has trouble falling asleep in a noisy room, it’s easy to see how the constant whirring of a CPAP machine could make it difficult for you to sleep. The fact is, CPAP therapy is designed to treat your sleep apnea so that you can get a good night’s sleep, but if the machine itself is keeping you up, you aren’t likely to keep using it.
#3. Nasal Congestion
If you have seasonal allergies or a cold, it can cause nasal congestion that makes it difficult to comply with your CPAP therapy. Unfortunately, some people also experience nasal congestion because of CPAP therapy.
Although CPAP therapy can help to relieve headaches associated with sleep apnea, some people experience headaches or pressure in the ears caused by CPAP therapy. These headaches are typically akin to riding in an airplane when you have a cold.
What can you do if CPAP therapy doesn’t work for you?
Although CPAP therapy is the most common sleep apnea treatment, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. At James Otten Dentistry, we offer an alternative sleep apnea treatment that requires no machinery, tubes or masks. Our dentist utilizes occlusal splints, which are therapeutic devices that help to readjust the bite and reposition the jaw so that you can breathe easier.
If CPAP therapy hasn’t been working for you, don’t give up on sleep apnea treatment altogether. Turn to James Otten Dentistry for a sleep apnea treatment alternative that just might work for you.