Devices for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder where a person experiences episodic pauses in breathing during sleep. If you snore loudly, wake up choking or gasping, and feel excessively fatigued during the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea and should consider consulting your doctor.

If you are interested in learning more about Sleep Apnea you can read our article What is Sleep Apnea? which goes in depth into this common sleeping disorder.

There are a range of treatment options available if you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

These can include treatment devices aimed at opening the airway and allowing you to breathe easier at night. 
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Best Devices for Sleep Apnea

Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy
Provent
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Mouthpiece
Sleep Tight
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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Generally, the first line of treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure are machines that supply pressurised air through a flexible tube and mask fitted over the nose and mouth while you sleep. It is most commonly used for obstructive sleep apnea sufferers as they don't receive enough air into the lungs.

Bi-Level Airway Pressure (BiPap)

These are similar to CPAPs with the general exception that bi-level (or two level) positive airway pressure delivers two pressures, an inhalation and an exhalation positive pressure, whereas as CPAP delivers single continuous pressure.

BiPAPs can also be set to deliver a breath when a person sleeping doesn't breathe for a programmed amount of time.

BiPAPs are suited for those suffering from central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea,, or those that don't tolerate CPAPs well. CPAP users can find it difficult to exhale against the constant pressurised air and feel as though they are required to force their breath out.

image courtesy of Therapeutic Goods Administration

Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV)

Generally used to treat central sleep apnea and sometimes complex sleep apnea, ASV are machines that continuously monitor the breathing of patients. Pressure is continuously adjusted to trigger breathing when needed based on the patient's breathing pattern. 

While ASVs can be effective, they are not recommended for every central sleep apnea patient. It can increase the risk of heart failure for those suffering serious heart conditions.

They also generally come with a high price tag.  It is for these two reasons why we recommend seeking professional medical advice before commiting to using an ASV system. 
provent sleep apnea device

image courtesy of Smart Nora

Nasal Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (Nasal EPAP)

Unlike CPAPs and BiPAPs, nasal EPAPs are nasal devices which creates positive airway pressure during the exhalation process. The theory is that airway collapse and resulting sleep apnea is more likely to occur when exhaling. The device is worn over the nostrils and contains and contains a valve, which allows air to flow in during inhalation, and then partially closes during exhalation creating slow gentle pressure. 

A benefit of the EPAP is that pressure is created naturally using your own breathing, which some experts argue is better than pressure being on the body. It also has the added benefit of not requiring complex machinery, water or electrical support.
Sleep Tight Mouthpiece Oral Appliance

image courtesy of Sleep Tight Mouthpiece

Oral appliances

For the treatment of mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or for those with severe sleep apnea that don't tolerate CPAPs, mandibular advancement devices (MAD) are mouthguards that are worn to bed at night. Designed to hold the mandible and tongue forward, they help the airway stay open. 

Options for mouth devices range from:
  • Over the counter thermoplastic 'boil and bite' mouthguards, however these are less effective than fitted devices.
  • Semi fitted devices using your dental impression, the mold is then sent away to have a MAD made.
  • Fully tailored MADs which are made by sleep specialists or dentist and offer the perfect fit.
Mandibular advancement devices have been shown to reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. Their efficacy is comparable to CPAPs for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea sufferers and offer the following benefits such as greater comfort, portability and ease of use. Side effects can include initial discomfort as the jaw is pushed forward. Regular dental check ups are recommended as over the long time, there may be tooth movement and changes to your bite.
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The contents of Sleep Quizzz are for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to be a tool for our readers to use for self-assessment. Nothing found on our website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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