There are other alternative treatments for Sleep Apnea beyond CPAP machines and CPAP masks that can be helpful for some patients.
Surgery can be performed on the upper airway. Results vary from person to person. Some patients show elimination of Sleep Apnea after upper airway surgery, whereas other patients have experienced no major change in their condition. One of the types of surgery for sleep apnea is the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) which involves surgery on the soft palate at the rear of the throat. Not every Sleep Apnea sufferer will benefit from this surgery.
Oral appliances that are made by dentists and can be useful. The device is designed to pull the jaw forward and help to prevent collapse at the back of the throat. Some Sleep Apnea sufferers prefer to opt for the oral appliances. Most studies reveal that using a CPAP machine and CPAP mask is more effective at controlling Sleep Apnea.
Hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) uses a pacemaker-like stimulator device that a surgeon places in the neck and use electrical pulse to activate the muscles in the tongue. This results in keeping the airway open. HGNS recently received approval by the FDA and is proving to be a popular alternative.
There are alternatives, devices that can be purchased at the pharmacy such as special pillows and nasal strips. Unfortunately, most of these treatments have not been proven to be effective in resolving Sleep Apnea.
It has been suggested and not proven that weight loss can help improve or eliminate sleep apnea symptoms if you are overweight or obese. Overweight and obese people often have thick necks with extra tissue in the throat that may block the airway.
What is expected in the future for sleep apnea sufferers?
Improvements are ongoing, and further improvements are expected both on the diagnosis and treatment of Sleep Apnea. New tests are likely to assist in improvement in determining the underlying causes of Sleep Apnea. Nasal CPAP will continue to be the main treatment for Sleep Apnea for the foreseeable future but ongoing to development of new CPAP devices continues.