Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Know Your Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) Treatment

Introduced over 30 years ago as the only non-surgical treatment for OSA, PAP devices have become smaller, quieter and provide many more features to enhance compliance. Referred to as the gold standard since its introduction, PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) is the most common and effective method of sleep apnea treatment. PAP devices have multiple components; to use the device, a small comfortable mask or nasal pillows are fitted over the nose leaving the mouth uncovered. Patients must sleep with their mouths closed, aided by a chin strap or a full face mask that covers both the nose and mouth, while the device gently blows air into the nose at a pressure slightly higher than the surrounding air pressure. The first form of PAP therapy was CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and when introduced these devices were bulky and awkward.

Today, PAP devices are smaller, quieter, and more comfortable. While there were once only two types of masks to choose from, today there are 40, meaning with proper assistance patients are sure to find a mask that fits comfortably and securely on their faces. At SleepQuest, one of our main priorities is to match patients with appropriate PAP devices and masks. We provide each patient with an advanced featured Auto PAP device that can be set to CPAP mode but is more comfortable in the Auto mode where it responds to snoring and flow limitation on a breath by breath basis to treat a majority of the forms of obstructive sleep apnea. We offer a 30-day guarantee on all masks, and patients are free to return repeatedly to try different masks until they find the right one for them. We also offer several specialized PAP systems to meet the various needs of our patients

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Oral Appliances and Provent®

Oral appliances are a common treatment option for mild to moderate sleep apnea. These appliances are custom made to fit on a patient’s teeth, much like a mouth guard or a retainer. Oral appliances are also called Mandibular repositioning devices and act by pushing the jaw slightly forward, which in turn keeps the airways open. They need to be adjusted by a qualified dentist with experience in treating sleep apnea. Tongue retaining devices act differently by gently holding the tongue forward so that it does not fall into the back of the throat.

Provent® is a device that has proven effective in treating mild cases of sleep apnea. Provent® therapy uses small, disposable devices that rest just inside the nostrils. Each device is outfitted with a microvalve. When a patient breathes, these valves create pressure, which in turn keeps a patient’s airways open. Provent is a very affordable treatment option, with an average cost of $1.50 a day and is currently not covered by insurance companies.

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Surgery is sometimes a last resort for patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea. However, doctors prefer to exhaust all other treatment options, as this type of surgery is typically quite invasive and expensive. Sleep apnea surgery is only performed by otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists) and dental specialists who are also medical doctors.

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