What is the Difference Between CPAP and CPAP Alternatives?

man wearing cpap maskIf you have sleep apnea, you’ve probably been asked to try CPAP to help keep your airway open while you sleep. While this treatment can be very effective for some people, alternatives are available if it isn’t your best option or you find it to be too uncomfortable.

In this blog, our doctors explains more about the differences between CPAP and CPAP alternatives.

What are CPAP and CPAP alternatives used for?

Both are used to treat sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is characterized by repeated pauses in sleep that cause you to move from deep sleep into lighter sleep throughout the night. Your blood – and the rest of your body, including your brain – will also receive varying degrees of oxygen as your breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

If you have this sleep disorder, it’s important to receive treatment because it can have serious effects on your overall health and well-being. Treatment can help keep your airway open at night, which will help you achieve normal, uninterrupted breathing.

What is CPAP?

CPAP is a continuous positive airway pressure machine that helps increase the air pressure in your throat so your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe in during sleep. The machine has a mask that fits over your nose and mouth or in some cases, just your nose. It’s hooked up to hoses and the machine, which delivers a steady stream of air.

This type of treatment is very effective in many cases since it can do a good job of keeping your airway open and improving your breathing and sleep cycles.

What are some alternatives?

Alternative treatments can be appropriate in some cases of mild sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). These treatments can be effective if you find the machine uncomfortable and don’t use it every night as recommended or abandon using it entirely.  Before exploring other options, however, you may find that cognitive behavioral therapy can help improve compliance.

Depending on your individual needs, the following are some alternatives that may be considered:

  • Lifestyle changes – such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and sleeping on your side instead of your back.
  • Medication – for sleep apnea that’s related to restless legs syndrome, insomnia, or narcolepsy.
  • Oral appliance therapy – custom-made mouthpieces worn at night to gently coax the jaw and tongue into a position that doesn’t block your airway.
  • Inspire therapy – a small device that’s surgically implanted on the chest wall. It delivers mild stimulation that helps open the airway while you sleep.
  • Apnicure Winx therapy system – an oral vacuum that rests inside your mouth and stabilizes soft tissue as you sleep.
  • Surgery – can sometimes be used to treat more severe cases or in children who have sleep apnea. It can correct underlying structural issues such as enlarged tonsils.

What are the differences?

Although CPAP can be modified in some ways – such as adjusting the size of the mask or the air flow – it isn’t always appropriate for every patient. Alternatives allow your doctor to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and tailor the most effective treatment to suit your specific needs and comfort level.

If you have sleep apnea that’s not being well controlled, make an appointment today with Sleep & Neuroscience Associates. We offer many alternatives to provide you with the best treatment options to suit your individual needs.

Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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We regret to announce that we will be closing the practice for in person and telehealth services for Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment as of 9/30/2023. The Practice was formerly owned by Dr. Malhotra and was located at 86 Bradley Road, Madison, CT 06443.

In February 2022, Waterstone acquired Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment under Dr. Thomas Abbenante, who has been working with patients in Greenwich and New Haven offices.

If you are seeking new services, please contact your health insurance company who can provide you with a list of providers that are in network with your current plan. For additional information or referrals, you can also contact the Connecticut State Medical Society at www.nhcma.org or by calling 203-865-0587.

For current or previous patients, please contact our agency for information regarding your account, appointments, or medical records. You may reach us at 203-245-0412 or fax requests to 203-427-0441. You will receive mailed information detailing closure and any follow-up instructions.

Please note that the business mailing address for Dr. Abbenante and Sleep and Neuroscience is:

Dr. Thomas Abbenante
Sleep & Neuroscience Department
c/o Waterstone Counseling Centers, LLC
86 Bradley Road
Madison, CT  06443