Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You've got options

  This blog is called with Sleeping with CPAP because that is the treatment I am using to deal with my sleep apnea.
  But wearing a mask during sleep isn't for everyone.
  Rather than giving up - and dealing with the serious health issues stemming from constantly interrupted sleep - apnea sufferers should be aware there are other means of treatment.
  In fact, you could start investigating these during your next trip to the dentist.
  In a competitive landscape, more dentists are now adding sleep apnea treatment among their services.
  Jeff and Jason Ingber, a father-and-son dental duo with offices in Waterford Township and Pontiac as part of Metropolitan Dental Centers, have embraced their new area of expertise.
  Their team designs and builds a dental device that fits onto both levels of teeth to keep the airway open while sleeping.
  Treating TMJ disorders and apnea makes up less than 10 percent of their business but that is expected to grow to 30-40 percent, they told The Oakland Press earlier this year.
  Along with CPAP and the dental approach, surgery is also a consideration, although your doctor will likely want to try less invasive techniques first.
  Surgery is largely reserved for those with excessive tissue hindering airflow through the nose or throat, according to WebMD. People with deviated septums, enlarged tonsils and small lower jaw/large tongue combo may be candidates for surgery, which is typically outpatient (what isn't these days?).
  The surgeries address the narrow airway by tightening the palate, removing tissue, fixing nasal obstructions, or even moving jaw and face bones forward.
  Obviously, these are drastic measures and your doctor will steer you through the process.
  In fact, the mildest forms of sleep apnea can be treated by losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, sleeping on your side, using nasal sprays, and simply getting enough sleep, WebMD reports.
  But many people like me need more advanced treatment. My advice is don't try to diagnose or prescribe your own treatments. I'm a CPAP advocate but I'm more of a breathing advocate so find what works for you - with the assistance of experts, which you and I are not.
  It's good to have options.


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