Sleep Apnea Devices
Sleep apnea can be a tricky thing to identify. It occurs during sleep after all, many of its most tell-tale signs remaining unknown to the person afflicted with the disorder. Treating sleep apnea can often be just as problematic. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most popular treatment method, producing the most dependable results over a sustained amount of usage time. Wearing a mask during sleep does not work for many people with sleep apnea. Perhaps you are one of those who should consider sleep apnea devices as a way to clear up your airway and make breathing easier.
There are two types of sleep apnea devices available. A generic, over-the-counter version is a one size fits all kind of thing. Custom made devices prove more effective, as they better fit your individual mouth.
The two common types of sleep apnea devices are:
- Mandibular advancement device (MAD)
These devices resemble mouth guards worn in sports and snap into place over the upper and lower teeth. Hinges help push the lower jaw slightly forward, which helps keep the tongue and soft palate out of your airway and ensure easier breathing.
- Tongue retaining device
This device keeps the tongue from falling backward and obstructing your airway during sleep. More MADs are prescribed than these, which often take people a while to get accustomed to wearing.
Apart from sleep apnea devices, there are several other common accessories used in treating sleep apnea. Position pillows are sold widely online, some made to be used in conjunction with CPAP treatment and others to simply encourage side sleeping or to elevate your upper body.
Sleep apnea sufferers report that most of their breathing trouble occurs while sleeping on the back. To discourage lying on your back at night, many doctors suggest pinning a tennis ball-filled sock to your nightshirt. Some people find this method helpful, but like any treatment, approach it with an open mind, as it might not work for everyone.
Consult our sleep apnea specialist before purchasing a device of any sort. Regularly report back to your doctor while using a device, and be honest regarding your feedback and diligence in usage.