Why CPAPs Are Not Always the Best Solution

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Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2022 at 4:21 am    

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you might be considering a CPAP device to help you breathe normally while sleeping. While CPAPs have long been a popular treatment for patients living with sleep apnea, they aren’t always the best solution for treating sleep disorders. Here, we will discuss how CPAP machines work and why many CPAP users eventually stop using them, or in other terms, become non-compliant. 

What is a CPAP Device?

A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device works by delivering a constant stream of pressurized air to a patient while they sleep. It is designed to prevent obstructions in the air passages that might cause disruptions in a patient’s breathing. The device typically consists of a mask covering the nose and mouth, a hose, and a compressor. 

Why Many CPAP Users Become Non-Compliant

Millions of Americans have used CPAP devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. However, CPAP machines also have a high rate of non-compliance. Research has shown that up to 83 percent of CPAP users are ultimately non-adherent. 

Why is it that so many patients cannot use CPAP machines effectively? Here are some of the common reasons: 

  • Noise and bulkiness – CPAP machines have a motor that generates pressurized air. The noise from the compressor can interfere with sleep, and the bulkiness of the CPAP mask can make it challenging to get into a comfortable resting position. Because CPAP devices need electricity to run, traveling can also become an issue if there are no outlets near the patient’s bed. 
  • Health risks – Failing to clean a CPAP device regularly can lead to mold and mildew developing inside the hose or mask. Inhaling mold, mildew, and other allergens can harm a patient’s health. CPAP devices can also worsen sinus conditions and cause recurring bacterial infections like strep throat if they aren’t well-maintained. Additionally, the FDA recently recalled millions of CPAP devices manufactured by Philips Respironics due to issues with the sound abatement foam used in the device. Safety tests found that the sound abatement foam could break down over time, causing foam particles to travel into a patient’s airway. Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients who allege that they developed cancer and other illnesses due to ingesting the toxic chemicals contained in the foam particles. 
  • Skin issues – When used as recommended, obstructive sleep apnea patients often wear their CPAP mask for up to 7 to 8 hours every night. This can lead the patient to develop skin irritations, rashes, and other issues, particularly if dust and debris have been allowed to accumulate inside the mask. 

If you have had issues using a CPAP device to treat obstructive sleep apnea or find that you are non-compliant, viable alternative solutions are available. 

Why Choose Oral Appliance Therapy?

At Silent Night Therapy, we help obstructive sleep apnea patients treat their condition using an oral appliance. Our travel-friendly oral appliances are specifically designed to prevent obstructions during sleep without the need for a bulky mask and loud compressor. Oral appliances work by shifting the jaw slightly forward during sleep, which keeps the airway open and allows oxygen to flow freely into the lungs. 

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, contact Silent Night Therapy in Long Island to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clifford Brown. Call us at 631-983-2463 today.