Are CPAP alternatives effective?

My doctor recommended that I use the CPAP machine to help with my sleep apnea, but I found it to be very bothersome and intrusive. I have been researching alternatives, such as a nose strip. How effective are these CPAP alternatives?

Doctors Answers (4)

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 10/18/2013

Unfortunately I don't know how severe your problem is, etc. If you are planning to quit CPAP and use an alternative it would be most important to have a sleep study completed using your new therapy to verify that it works. In my experience, nasal strips and spays do not cure sleep apnea.

Vector Sleep Diagnostics Center
Answered on: 10/9/2013

Treatment options for sleep apnea depend on the severity of this condition. For mild cases, non CPAP treatments can be explored including oral dental appliances and variety or other less invasive options. Nasal strips may work by opening nasal part of airway when there is an issue with mild blockage there. I personally never saw them work in cases of significant sleep apnea where CPAP use was indicated that includes moderate to severe cases. Let me tell you that you are not alone finding it difficult to adjust to CPAP use. It is a good idea to discuss your difficulties with your sleep doctor- some of these issues can be resolved if addressed early- psychological difficulties, dry mouth, morning headaches etc. Best of luck to you.

Timothy J. Delcambre, DDS, MHA
Answered on: 10/3/2013

If you have a diagnosed mild case of obstructive sleep apnea, a lower jaw advancement appliance has been shown to be as effective as a CPAP machine. If you diagnosed moderate to severe sleep apnea, CPAP is the "gold standard" and oral appliances may not be as effective. Alternatives such as nose strips are not effective with diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.

Joseph Lee, DDS, FICOI
Answered on: 10/3/2013

The only other effective alternative to CPAP would be an oral appliance used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. By gently holding the lower jaw down and forward, the airway is opened. A nose strip only open the airway right at the nostrils. You should be evaluated to see what alternatives could work for you as there is no "one size fits all."