Why Patients May Not Feel Better Using CPAP Therapy

When a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea, their doctor may prescribe CPAP therapy as the treatment of choice. CPAP therapy is known to be very effective in treating sleep apnea, especially in severe cases. However, when it comes to mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), CPAP therapy may not be the right treatment option for a patient. There are several reasons why this may be the case, and understanding these reasons can help both patients and physicians get the most out of OSA treatment.


CPAP Therapy For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Patients who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are often prescribed CPAP therapy. For some, the treatment is effective. Patients – especially those with severe OSA – may return to their doctor and report feeling better and more alert, almost as if they’re a brand new person. They’ll sleep better at night, wake less frequently, and have more energy during the day. CPAP therapy may also produce other benefits, such as reduced snoring and improved concentration. Each of these benefits leads to a better quality of life for sleep apnea patients. 

Some patients, however, don’t benefit from CPAP therapy, for several reasons. We explore why below. 

Why CPAP Therapy Isn’t Right For Everyone

Effectiveness = Efficacy x Compliance

Many patients find it difficult to comply with instructions and use a CPAP machine as prescribed. It’s estimated that as much as 50% of CPAP users do not follow their prescribed treatment plans, and only 23% – 45% of patients are successful with their CPAP therapies due to lack of compliance. 

CPAP therapy takes time for patients to adjust to. Common factors that can affect how well CPAP therapy works include incorrect mask fit, leaks in the mask seal, and pressure settings that are too high or too low. Many patients may experience discomfort while sleeping, and therefore decide to remove the mask. Some patients may even wear their CPAP mask the majority of the night and remove it for the last few hours, in an effort to get a few moments of comfortable sleep.

Here’s the trouble with this strategy: sleep apnea can worsen as morning nears. So, when patients remove their CPAP masks too early, it has a negative impact on their entire quality of sleep – and reduces the effectiveness of treatment.

Another effective treatment option for mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)? Oral Appliance Therapy with a SomnoMed device.

Effectiveness Of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances are dental devices that improve breathing conditions brought about by Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The appliance works by moving the lower jaw forward, clearing the airway and giving patients a safe and soundless sleep. They’re best for patients with mild to moderate OSA. 

There’s no denying that CPAP therapy is an effective treatment, but it’s not right for every patient. Some people benefit more from comfortable, custom-made oral appliances like our SomnoDent® Avant over CPAP as a treatment method. 

Compared with wearing a CPAP mask, wearing a SomnoDent® Avant is comfort on a completely different scale. Patients will feel this from the moment they place it in their mouth, as it glides onto the teeth, gently cradling and supporting each tooth. This feeling of comfort and ease often serves to increase patient compliance, and thereby increases oral appliance treatment efficacy.

With a SomnoDent® Avant, there’s no hose, no mask, and no noise that may keep both patients and bed partners awake. Did we mention that SomnoMed oral appliances are also portable?

SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative

Let’s face facts. CPAP is a very effective treatment for OSA – but only if it’s used every night. Many things get in the way of a good night’s sleep with CPAP, and therefore get in the way of effectively treating a patient’s sleep apnea. Untreated OSA can lead to serious health problems.

It’s time to put Oral Appliance Therapy in its appropriate, central position within the OSA treatment ecosystem for patients as a first-line treatment option. 

Here at SomnoMed, our Medical Initiative is working to cultivate and foster industry collaborations that will produce the research, education, awareness of, and pathways to Oral Appliance Therapy as a primary solution to successful OSA treatment for patients everywhere. Together, we can help treat more OSA patients, more effectively.

Interested in joining our Medical Initiative, and/or exploring Oral Appliance Therapy with a SomnoMed device? 

Sleep physicians, contact us here: https://somnomed.com/en/physicians/physicians-contact/

Dentists, reach out to us here: https://somnomed.com/en/dentists/dentists-contact/

Patients, start your treatment journey here: https://somnomed.com/en/find-a-clinic/


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