Summer is a wonderful time of year (even it does get a little warm in our part of the world). Many people take advantage of the extra daylight to enjoy the great outdoors.
It’s a great time to go fishing and camping … unless you have sleep apnea.
Spending time in nature is great. Yet, if you need a CPAP machine to get a good night’s sleep, then you may have to forego a night under the stars so you can sleep near an outlet.
You could try camping anyway, but your snoring could ruin the trip for anyone unfortunate enough to share a tent with you.
Is there a way to resolve this dilemma? There might be if you live in or near Plano, TX. Make plans to visit the dentist at 1st In Smiles, and you might learn of another, more portable solution for dealing with sleep apnea.
The Limits of CPAP Machines
We don’t want to badmouth CPAP machines or CPAP users. These devices certainly help many people who have struggled with sleep apnea.
You may already know that CPAP is an abbreviated for continuous positive airway pressure. The machine works by pushing air into your airways. This keeps those airways open, which allows you to breathe easier while you are sleeping.
The end result is you (and anyone who happens to sleep near you) get a better night’s sleep. That’s true as long as you use your CPAP machine.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that between one-third and one-half of all CPAP users don’t use their machines consistently.
For now, let’s assume that you are someone who is dedicated to using your CPAP machine as directed. The limitation is that the machine can become a hassle if you are traveling.
The fact that most of these machines need to be plugged in to work also limits some of the things you can do. You may really want to spend an evening staring at the stars as you drift off to sleep, but that may not be possible if you are tied to your machine.
A Dental Alternative
We know it may not seem obvious to turn to your dentist if you are dealing with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, but we really can and have helped many patients.
How? By making a special mouthpiece that you can wear in your sleep.
Oral appliances are a relatively new method for treating obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common form of this condition. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports the use of oral appliances as a primary treatment option for people who have mild or moderate sleep apnea and for people with severe sleep apnea who can’t use a CPAP machine.
Oral appliances are worn similar to how you would wear an athletic mouthguard, only you wear these overnight. The appliance works by shifting the position of your jaw. This shift keeps your airway open so you can continue breathing after you fall asleep.
This means you don’t have to wear a mask. You don’t have to fool with the tubes that feed air into your mask, and you don’t have to find a plug for your treatment to work.
You may need a little time to adjust to sleeping with a mouthpiece, but once you become comfortable with it, you may notice an improvement in the quality of your sleep.
A Portable Sleep Apnea Treatment
The benefit of having an oral appliance is it’s small compared to a CPAP machine. If you travel for work or for pleasure (like our campers), your mouthpiece can be stored in its case and carried in a pocket.
You don’t have to make room in your suitcase to bring it with you for an overnight trip.
As we noted earlier, the oral appliance can serve as your primary treatment option, or it can be a backup option. In addition to being more portable, it can help in the event of an electrical outage or in the interim period between when your CPAP wears out and you get a new one.
A Treatment You Can Count On
If you have a CPAP and it’s working well for you, then you should continue using it. If you have trouble using your CPAP consistently or you would like a more portable treatment for your sleep apnea, come to 1st In Smiles.
We would be happy to help you get an oral appliance, whether you need it as your primary sleep apnea treatment or a backup treatment option. Call 972-380-8105 or fill out our online form make an appointment to get your oral appliance.