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CPAP intolerant patients

Outstanding, professional service. As a physician and patient I appreciated Dr. Kumar's professionalism, depth of knowledge and impeccable chair side demeanour. After many years of searching I along with my family have found an outstanding dentist we can trust to do the best job possible. ~ Anonymous

Sleep apnea, a disorder that robs affected individuals of the sleep necessary to function optimally, is a condition with various treatment options. Working with your medical doctor for diagnosis and treatment, you may find certain lifestyle changes or medical solutions to restore sleep. The common medical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure.

CPAP treatment consists of the delivery of air through a mask worn around the nose. To stay in place, the mask is strapped around the head, and connected to an air pump by a hose. Wearing this mask during sleep ensures that the nasal passages and airway remain open. CPAP is a successful form of treatment. The problems lie in patient compliance. Physicians may hear complaints from their CPAP patients that range from headaches due to the strap, to issues with noise. As an alternative, physicians may work with Dr. Kumar and staff, incorporating oral appliance therapy into patients' treatment plans.

Some of the common issues that lead to lack of compliance with CPAP include:
  • Discomfort due to too-high air pressure.
  • Noise from the air compressor inhibits sleep.
  • Claustrophobia.
  • Dryness to the nose or throat.
  • Irritation to eyes should air leak from the mask.
  • Headaches
  • Changes to voice.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Sinus infections.
  • Difficulty breathing against forced air.
  • Discomfort from air in the stomach.
  • Psychological impact due to look or feel of being hooked up to machine and wearing a mask.
For those patients who are CPAP intolerant and suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy can be very effective and beneficial. This form of treatment is non-invasive, made for a precise purpose and tested in clinical trials for FDA approval. In studies, 96 percent of patients undergoing oral appliance therapy showed significant improvement of symptoms, with an 83 percent decrease in apnea-hypopnea index.

Though CPAP is a therapy that can literally save the life of one severely affected by sleep apnea, compliance is an important factor that determines optimal outcome. In cases where oral appliance therapy is appropriate, we work alongside our patient's medical doctor to accomplish specific goals for the restoration of sleep, and a return to health.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea, or are a physician with CPAP intolerant patients, contact us for further information on oral appliance therapy.

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