I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and was given a cpap machine. Outside of sounding like Darth Vader, I cannot sleep with this machine on my face. Please tell me there is an alternative????!
Mark A. – Little Rock, AR
Lucky for you there is. Sleep apnea is treatable and there are several types of treatments available. Dr. Bader prefers to start with the most conservative treatment available.
Most people prefer a mandibular advancement appliance to a CPAP machine. Talk to your dentist and see if that gives you the help you need. If not, there are other treatments available as well. But, it’s always best to start with the most simple and least invasive.
This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.
I have to take a business trip which isn’t out of the ordinary. But since my last trip, I have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The doctor has issued me a CPAP machine and I just can’t figure out how I will carry this thing on board. I want to have it with me. Do you have any advice because I don’t want to be heard snoring like crazy and I refuse to check it.
– Will in Maryland
You are allowed to travel with your CPAP machine even though it feels like a major inconvenience. As a carry-on item it will need to be screened and checked by the airport security. One thing to consider is to bring sanitizing wipes along with you because the screening area at the airport is likely unsanitary.
The main thing you need to consider because you have obstructive sleep apnea is that there is a power outlet available near your seat. Also, make sure you travel with the correct adapter. If possible, make these arrangements ahead of time by contacting your airline. This will save you time and frustration the day of your flight. With heightened security, you may also have difficulty carrying on distilled water for the machine. So you would be wise to travel with the prescription from your physician. This way you will be able to travel with distilled water in a pharmaceutical grade bottle.
If your travel picks up again and you want to alleviate lugging around the bulky, loud CPAP, talk to your doctor or visit a dentist that is experienced in treating sleep apnea. A dentist may be able to fit you for an oral appliance which you simply pop into your mouth before you fall asleep. It is customized to fit your mouth and moves your jaw into a more favorable position. This appliance keeps your airway unobstructed during sleep. This will save you a lot of hassle and will eliminate the need for the CPAP for travel and in many cases, patients prefer the oral appliance and stop using the CPAP altogether.
But if you are uncomfortable leaving the CPAP behind, be sure to plan ahead to avoid any complications.
This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Dr. Steve Bader at Ultimate Aesthetics.
I’m scared that my husband is going to stop breathing because he absolutely is refusing to use his CPAP machine. He has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and ultimately I think he is embarrassed of it and he said it is really uncomfortable. I keep telling him about the potential for terrible health issues that could happen, but he doesn’t seem to care. He is also diabetic, which is worrisome to me as well. Basically, when he gets home from work, he falls asleep on the couch for a couple hours before dinner. Then he wonders why he’s up until after midnight? He’s up and out the door for work before 5:00am. Then on the weekend he is so hard to wake up, he would probably sleep for 18 hours if I didn’t wake him. Do you have any advice on how to get through to him? I’m very worried!
– Denice in Oregon
From what you have described, it sounds like you understand the true severity of the situation, even if your husband doesn’t. If hour husband has already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, he should be well aware how this condition left untreated can be life threatening. But there are many people that refuse to wear the CPAP machine because of complaints about the noise and how uncomfortable it is to sleep in.
Did you know that there are dentists out there that are trained to treat sleep apnea. A mandibular advancement appliance may be something that he would consider, if you’ve never heard of this treatment. It is a mouthpiece that is worn at night and it is much more comfortable than the bulky CPAP. This appliance repositions the jaw into a more favorable position that keeps the airway open. It’s definitely worth a try for your sanity and also for your husband’s health.
This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.