Top Alternative Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea

Young woman sleeping on white pillow in bed

Have you been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea? Are you currently undergoing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment where you need to wear a mask to sleep? Even though CPAP is the most popular method used in the treatment of sleep apnea, many patients have complained about wearing a mask to sleep. Some found the mask downright uncomfortable while others were distracted by the loud sounds made by their CPAP machines. If you prefer not to undergo CPAP therapy, are there any other treatment options you can consider? Thankfully, yes! Other than CPAP, here are some alternative treatment options that you can explore:

Oral Appliances

Oral appliances are gaining popular acceptance in the treatment of sleep apnea. If you cannot stand wearing a mask to bed and your sleep apnea is considered mild to moderate, why not try wearing an oral device instead? Most of the patients who have tried this method agree that it was preferable to wearing a CPAP mask to bed. 

Undergo Surgery

One of the causes of sleep apnea is associated with the excess soft tissue in your mouth and throat. When you are sleeping, this excess soft tissue can block your airway due to the relaxation of your tongue and throat muscles. Surgery is one of the ways you can remove or reduce the extra tissue. However, this may not be the best choice for everyone and some patients may benefit more from this option than others. Depending on your condition, surgery can either be complex or minimally invasive. Many are also of the view that surgery is not as effective as the use of oral appliances and CPAP masks. In some cases, the benefits of surgery may also be temporal as sleep apnea has been known to reoccur in patients who have undergone surgery. Hence, unless CPAP therapy and oral devices do not work for you, we would not recommend going for this option.

Go Through a Weight Management Program

If you are overweight, going through a weight management program may help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you are physically fit enough, why not try losing some weight? Other than treating your sleep apnea, you will get to reap other health benefits such as lowering the risk of getting diabetes or a heart disease. Did you know that even a weight loss of five percent can benefit you significantly? Go ahead and enroll in a program today! 

Positional Therapy

If you suffer from sleep apnea only when you are sleeping on your back, positional therapy may work for you. This is a behavioral strategy where you get your body to remain on its side while sleeping. To do so, you may be required to wear a device around your back or waist to keep you in position. Other methods may include having special pillows to stop you from rolling over or alarms that will alert you whenever you roll onto your back.

Changing your Habits

Quitting smoking and drinking has been known to help with sleep apnea. When you drink, alcohol is likely to worsen your sleep apnea as it hinders your ability to breathe when you are sleeping. Smoking increases the severity of your sleep apnea as it interrupts your sleep cycles and circadian rhythm. Other than that, smoking also plays havoc with the muscle function of your upper airway and causes mucus congestion. If you smoke and drink, perhaps it is time to make a commitment to quit.

LOOKEE® Tech Sleep Monitors

Not only are LOOKEE® Sleep Monitors relied on to track the effectiveness of your sleep treatments, but many users, including our founder, are able to use our devices as an alternative treatments for sleep apnea! Studies have shown that adjusting your sleep position to keep your airways unobstructed can help to improve the symptoms of sleep apnea. The LOOKEE® Wrist Sleep Oxygen Monitor features a vibration alarm on the finger for sleep apnea events overnight that alerts the users when their blood oxygen levels drop below a threshold presented on the App. So, the user can shift their sleeping position in order to breathe well again. The gentle vibration won’t wake the user all the way up, but works as a safety net to train the user to sleep the right position during the night to keep the airway open and oxygen level in a healthy range.

Evaluate Your Results

Trying any of the above alternative treatments, which the guidance of your doctor, can prove to be a great option for patients who don’t want to wear a CPAP mask. However, it is important that you are able to accurately record the results of any treatments in order to evaluate their effectiveness. LOOKEE® Sleep Monitors have been trusted by patients to gain an accurate understanding of what’s disrupting your sleep, and provide continuous overnight monitoring of blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

Always consult with your doctor or sleep specialist and do not hesitate to ask them about the pros and cons of each treatment option for your condition. It always pays to be well-informed!