cpap mask laying on the floor, unused Many people in Fort Atkinson use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) partly because they don’t think they have any alternative. It’s true that if you have sleep apnea, it’s important to get it treated. Otherwise, you face life-threatening complications.

However, treating sleep apnea doesn’t automatically mean CPAP. Instead, oral appliance therapy is a highly effective alternative that serves as a frontline treatment for anyone with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It also helps anyone who can’t adapt to CPAP therapy. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, it might be time to consider a CPAP alternative by talking to Fort Atkinson sleep dentist Dr. Jennifer Stafford.

You Don’t Use CPAP Enough Nights

If you’re not using your CPAP, you aren’t treating your sleep apnea. Unfortunately, about half of people who start CPAP don’t keep with the treatment long-term. Even if you managed to use your CPAP regularly during your initial trial period, if you aren’t keeping up with the recommendation of using CPAP at least 40% of the nights, it might be time to seek out a CPAP alternative in Fort Atkinson that you will use more often.

You Don’t Use CPAP Long Enough Each Night

Another problem people experience with CPAP use is that they don’t keep it on long enough each night. Your CPAP mask is a compromise between comfort and security: a fastening system that would ensure the mask stays on all night would likely be impossible to sleep in. Your current fastening system should keep the mask on long enough for you to get at least four hours of therapy each night (and more is better).

People who can’t keep their CPAP mask on long enough each night might benefit from a CPAP alternative.

You’re Embarrassed about CPAP

Although many people suffer from sleep apnea, most people with the condition in Fort Atkinson are undiagnosed. Few are actually getting their condition treated. This makes the CPAP machine unusual. People using their CPAP might therefore feel embarrassed about it. If you are dating, you might try to hide your CPAP from dates, either by not using it or finding excuses to postpone spending the night together.

Even people with a longtime partner or spouse sometimes feel embarrassed about CPAP. Embarrassment might be worse for women because of the common perception that sleep apnea is a man’s condition.

You Have Trouble Falling Asleep

CPAP treatment is supposed to help you get more sleep at night. However, if your CPAP makes it hard for you to fall asleep, it could be backfiring. It’s important to make sure you have done enough to adapt your CPAP to your comfort. This includes titrating your air pressure, trying different masks, and getting accessories like a heater or humidifier. Sometimes, though, it’s not enough, and if you’re losing sleep because of your CPAP, it’s time to consider alternatives.

You Wake Up Feeling Confined or Stressed

Sometimes people fall asleep just fine with their CPAP but wake up later with a feeling of intense claustrophobia and stress. This is a common response to CPAP. If this keeps you from sleeping through the night properly, it can be another reason why CPAP is backfiring for you.

You Dread Your Bedtime Routine

When it’s time for bed, you should be looking forward to getting your nightly rest. However, bedtime can seem like just another chore for people with CPAP. Getting out the CPAP machine, assembling the parts you disassembled for cleaning, adding water, and adjusting the pressure can all make bedtime a nuisance.

If you are looking for a way to make bedtime simple and straightforward again, an oral appliance is easy: you just put it in your mouth.

You Aren’t Maintaining CPAP Properly

CPAP machines require regular maintenance to ensure they function properly and safely. If you’re not cleaning and drying your CPAP machine as you should, you risk using a dirty machine to force air and water laden with bacteria into your lungs. Poor CPAP maintenance can increase your risk of pneumonia and other infections.

If CPAP maintenance seems too much trouble to do as recommended, it might be time to consider a CPAP alternative. An oral appliance, for example, is easy to maintain. All you have to do is soak it in a cleaning solution.

You Wake with Bloating or Gas

An ideally adjusted (titrated) CPAP machine should provide you with just enough pressure to keep your airway open and no more. Unfortunately, it’s hard to maintain that level of adjustment. Often, people in Fort Atkinson find that their CPAP machine is forcing air into their stomach and lungs. As a result, they wake with bloating and/or gas. This can lead to extensive emissions throughout the morning, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.

You Experience Skin Irritation, Pressure Sores, or Acne

We’ve already talked about how your CPAP mask balances security with comfort. Sometimes it’s not possible to find a good compromise. A secure mask might cause skin irritation, pressure sores, or acne where the straps run across your face. Many CPAP users improvise solutions that can help, but dealing with these skin problems is a constant source of discomfort and/or embarrassment for others.

CPAP Causes Trouble When Traveling

CPAP can be inconvenient to travel with. Often, your CPAP machine might need a dedicated piece of luggage. While this is medical equipment and doesn’t count toward your bag limit, it’s still a nuisance to haul around.

Then there can be problems with CPAP at your destination. Not all hotel rooms have a good place to set up a CPAP machine. If you’re staying in a house,  you might also have trouble finding a good outlet to plug your machine in. Plus, CPAP won’t work if you’re camping or taking a canoe trip unless you have a battery-powered machine.

If CPAP has ever caused a nuisance while traveling, it’s time to consider CPAP alternatives like an oral appliance for when you’re traveling, at least.

Get a CPAP Alternative in Fort Atkinson

If you are tired of dealing with these and other problems related to your CPAP, it’s time to consider CPAP alternatives. Let Fort Atkinson sleep dentist Dr. Jennifer Stafford evaluate you for oral appliance therapy.

Please call (920) 563-7323 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Bite Align in Fort Atkinson, near Johnson Bank, across from Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts.