CPAP & CPAP Alternatives in Greenwich, CT
What is CPAP?
CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a treatment option for individuals suffering from breathing-related sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. This eliminates the possibility of a patient’s airway closing during sleep, ensuring adequate oxygenation and optimizing sleep quality.
Continuous positive airway pressure is a proven sleep apnea treatment that can reduce or entirely eliminate fatigue and poor concentration, which are side effects related to poor sleep quality.
Consult our qualified sleep doctor, Dr. Samit Malhotra, to determine whether CPAP is a good treatment option for you. At Sleep & Neuroscience Associates, the leading sleep center in Greenwich, CT, we pride ourselves on helping you sleep better and live better.
Why is CPAP used?
CPAP is the gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea machines are clinically proven to regularize a patient’s sleep patterns and oxygen levels when used as directed. In addition, secondary effects of sleep apnea, such as daytime fatigue, irritability, and depression may be reduced or eliminated when the CPAP machine is used on a nightly basis, as prescribed.
What does CPAP therapy involve?
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is a non-surgical and non-pharmacological approach to sleep apnea treatment. It involves patients applying their CPAP mask each night before bed, which serves as a conduit through which pressurized air is delivered to the airway, thereby preventing collapse. The three parts of therapy include:
- A mask, which is selected from a wide variety of styles and shapes to fit the patient’s face comfortably. A sleep disorder specialist will be able to recommend the option that best fits your needs.
- A tube, which connects the mask to the machine and delivers continuous pressurized air into the patient’s airway.
- The pressurizing and humidifying unit of the machine that is sleek, quiet, and efficient with data download capabilities that help direct therapy.
What are the advantages of using CPAP?
When used as directed, CPAP therapy has a number of advantages:
- Keeps airway open while sleeping, thereby eliminating sleep apnea
- Improves the quality of sleep
- Relieves the symptoms of sleep apnea, such as daytime fatigue
- Prevents or decreases health problems that can result from sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure
- Eliminates snoring
What are CPAP alternatives?
For some patients, a CPAP machine may not be the best treatment option. Those with mild sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) may be good candidates for treatment with CPAP alternatives.
In addition, those patients who are unable to tolerate the CPAP and are non-compliant with treatment may also be eligible for alternative treatments to CPAP. In some cases, cognitive behavioral therapy may be explored as a treatment option for non-compliant CPAP users before considering treatment alternatives, as this may improve compliance.
CPAP alternatives may include conservative therapies, other sleep devices, or even minimally invasive procedures or surgery, depending on each patient’s unique needs. Alternatives to CPAP include:
- Lifestyle modifications may consist of losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, and other changes based on an individual’s needs.
- Cognitive behavior therapy may help identify reasons for CPAP non-compliance, thereby improving the frequency of use.
- Positional therapy involves changing the position in which you sleep to minimize the risk of airway obstruction. This may be beneficial for appropriate patients.
- Medical management may be adequate to treat sleep apnea, thereby eliminating the need for CPAP in the appropriate patient group.
- Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a custom-made mouthpiece that enlarges and stabilizes the airway by advancing the jaw and retaining the tongue – two factors that can help prevent blockage. Oral appliances, like CPAP, are worn on a nightly basis.
- Inspire therapy is a small, surgically implanted device on the chest wall that delivers mild stimulation to open the airway during sleep, thereby treating sleep apnea and eliminating the need for CPAP.
- Apnicure Winx therapy system is a light oral vacuum that rests inside the mouth while sleeping, gently stabilizing the soft tissue in the mouth to keep the airway open and optimize breathing.
- Surgical options may be used in a select group of patients, typically with more severe OSA, or may be considered as a treatment option for children with sleep apnea. Surgical sleep apnea treatment options should be discussed with Dr. Malhotra.
Why are CPAP alternatives used?
The most common reasons a patient may consider a CPAP alternative as a treatment option include:
- The patient’s sleep apnea is not severe enough to warrant CPAP
- CPAP compliance is a challenge for the patient
- CPAP is uncomfortable for the patient, producing effects such as nasal congestion, skin irritation or dry mouth
- CPAP machine is hard to travel with
- The patient does not wish to use CPAP but is looking to alleviate symptoms related to sleep apnea
Dr. Malhotra makes the effort to determine the cause of CPAP non-compliance and may be able to offer recommendations that help. Several sleep devices are available and may be recommended to improve sleep quality or CPAP compliance. CPAP alternatives may be considered as a treatment option based on patient factors.
What are the advantages of CPAP alternatives?
Some benefits of using CPAP alternatives include:
- May improve treatment compliance, thus resulting in better treatment results
- Can be customized based on a patient’s individual needs
If you are suffering from snoring or sleep apnea and are interested in learning more about continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or CPAP alternatives, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine. Dr. Malhotra is a trusted sleep specialist in CT, with extensive experience in treating patients suffering from all kinds of sleep disorders. Call (203) 422-7940 today, or schedule an appointment using this form.