If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea it is very important to access treatment. Every night while you sleep your heart and blood vessels are under strain and you are vulnerable for developing elevated blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. It can also affect your energy levels, memory, concentration and mood.
Many people are not being treated.
People with sleep apnea should not be sleeping without any assistance to their breathing yet many people are not being treated and are risking their health
There are only two proven and established treatments for sleep apnea –CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and oral appliance therapy.
Traditionally CPAP has been the main treatment and while many people use it successfully over 50% of people who try CPAP are unable to tolerate it.
2. Oral Appliance Therapy
Based on over 40 years of published scientific studies, oral appliance therapy is now accepted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the peak body in the field, as a key treatment for snoring as well as sleep apnea. Oral appliances have also proven to be comfortable and easy to use and now a front line treatment utilised by sleep physicians.
A recently published study* demonstrates that oral appliances are similar in effectiveness when compared to CPAP, yet much more comfortable to use.
In the past many people diagnosed with sleep apnea have found CPAP treatment to be too uncomfortable to use long term, and others wouldn’t even try it in the first place. However with the advent of new generation oral appliances, treatment is now comfortable and easy.
Most patients adapt easily to the oral appliance to the extent that within a short period of time, because of the benefits attained they don’t want to sleep without it.
If you have been diagnosed with very severe sleep apnea and you already have conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, then CPAP therapy might be recommended. CPAP machines have become smaller, quieter and much easier to adapt to.
Treatment for sleep apnea is often life changing -there is now no need to put off treatment.
* “Health Outcomes of CPAP versus Oral Appliance Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Randomised Controlled Trial”
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine February, 2013.
Craig L Phillips, Ronald R Grunstein, M. Ali Darendeliler, Anastasia S Mihailidou, Vasantha K Srinivasan, Brendon J Yee, Guy B Marks, and Peter CistullI