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What Accessories Can Help to Treat Sleep Apnoea?

Accessories to Treat Sleep Apnoea Accessories to Treat Sleep Apnoea

Have you recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)? If so, it is likely that you are looking for ways to alleviate this condition in order to once again enjoy a sound night of rest. 

You might have heard of devices such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine as well as oral appliances that can provide lasting results. It is wise to become more familiar with such options in order to determine which one may be the most appropriate. 

Let us therefore take a quick look at the main principles and benefits associated with each. You can then speak with your doctor or sleep specialist with confidence in knowing about the possibilities at your disposal. 

What is a CPAP Machine and How Does it Work?

One of the main issues associated with sleep apnoea is the fact that your upper airways will begin to slightly close. This leads to laboured breathing and difficulties with obtaining the proper amount of oxygen while asleep. 

A handful of the most common symptoms include:

  • The inability to fall and stay asleep.
  • Loud and incessant snoring.
  • Waking up gasping for breath or coughing.

A CPAP machine consists of a mask that fits over your face; the mask is attached to a hose and a unit that supplies a slight air pressure. As a result, your mouth and throat are more likely to remain open during the overnight hours. Modern machines are small, easy to operate and extremely quiet. Also, the fittings and hoses can often be chosen based around your personal preferences. 

We should still point out that these machines can be associated with some mild side effects. For instances, certain masks may not fit properly. You can also experience issues such as a dry throat or a runny nose. 

The good news is that these situations can normally be remedied. The shape and size of the masks may be modified to suit the contours of your face. There are also times when a humidifier can be included within the machine itself; allowing the air produced to contain a higher moisture content. 

Speak with your sleep specialist to learn more about these and other options. 

Devices Which Fit Into Your Mouth During the Overnight Hours

What if your OSA has not improved even after one of these machines has been employed? In this case, the presence of certain oral appliances could be a wise choice. One example is known as a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). The main intention of this apparatus is to allow your lower jaw to remain relaxed and in a forward position during the overnight hours. As a result, your tongue is less likely to block your airway while asleep. 

Another alternative called a tongue-retaining device works in a similar manner. This is a type of splint designed to hold your tongue in place. The only possible issue with a tongue-retaining device is that some users find it to be slightly uncomfortable. 

A final consideration involves devices which can be fully customised to adjust to the contours of your mouth. Often referred to as "boil-and-bite" accessories, they will be heated in warm water before the initial use. Biting down will enable the materials to form around the shape of your mouth. As you might have already guessed, the main benefit here is that these units can be quite comfortable. 

Factors to Take Into Account

So, which of the options mentioned above might be the best choice for your current situation? Before answering this question, these metrics should first be addressed:

  • The severity of your obstructive sleep apnoea.
  • The presence of any other medical conditions.
  • The structure of your mouth and upper airway.
  • Your personal preferences.

As we can see, a bit of trial and error may be necessary before coming to a logical conclusion. The good news is that there are numerous ways to effectively treat sleep apnoea thanks to the advancement of modern technology. Whether you require a machine designed to help you breathe better or a mouthpiece will suffice, it is important to consider all of the options at your disposal. 

It is just as wise to seek out the help and advice offered by medical professionals. These individuals will often be able to provide you with recommendations based off of your past history. There is simply no reason why you should not be able to obtain a sound night of sleep.

To order the Intus At-Home Sleep Test:https://www.sleeptest.co.uk/product/in-home-sleep-test

To shop for the highest-quality selection of CPAP devices: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop.html

Author: Helen Clarkson

About author: Helen Clarkson is a Sleep Specialist at Baywater Healthcare. Ms. Clarkson has worked with Baywater since 2008, working closely with patients in delivering sleep/bi-level services including sleep and respiratory, both in the home and clinic setting. This includes therapy initiation and troubleshooting support. Ms. Clarkson is responsible for delivering the Baywater Healthcare patient adherence management programme to ensure continuing patient therapy compliance. works in conjunction with NHS clinicians and procurement to deliver excellence in home and clinic-based services. She provides training on all aspects of sleep including devices and interfaces. Previously, Ms. Clarkson served as Respiratory Physiologist at Pontefract General Infirmary. Her position was Senior MTO for lung function/sleep department, and she was responsible for performing simple and complex sleep studies, sleep study analysis, CPAP initiation, therapy adherence and troubleshooting/service clinics, spirometry, lung volumes and transfer factor, reversibility, CPET, hyperventilation testing, EIA testing, skin prick testing, 6 min walk tests. She has also held roles as Respiratory Physiologist and Respiratory Technician, working closely with patients with respiratory disorders -- including ex-miners. Ms. Clarkson has a BSc (Honors) in Applied biology from University of Staffordshire. She also studied Developments in Sleep Medicine (advanced course) at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and took the Edinburgh Sleep Medicine course. She completed the BSS: Advanced sleep course and the ARTP NIV Course.

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