What other alternatives to CPAP are available?

This question was asked in Manito, Washington on 04/19/2012.
I've had nose and throat surgery for sleep apnea, and I'm still tired in the morning. I wear a snore guard that my dentist made, but it falls out at night. What options do I have besides wearing a sleep apnea mask?

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/23/2012

Alternatives to CPAP therapy include several options but none as generally effective as CPAP. These include the surgery you have had, mandibular advancement surgery, dental devices to enhance mandibular advancement, Provent therapy (a nasal device), tracheostomy and then some other suggestions. These include avoiding sleeping in the supine position, avoiding sedatives before bedtime, maintaining normal body weight and elevating the head of the bed a few inches. In clinical trials is a device which is implanted at the base of the tongue which stimulates the tongue to elevate when breathing stops. The best treatment is the CPAP. Keep trying.

Farhad Sigari, MD, FACS
Answered on: 4/20/2012

Yes, there are other alternatives to CPAP. One is EPAP which can really help people (it consists of valve sticker you put on your nostrils- no machine). The other includes in-office treatment of the tongue to further improve the airway. One or both of these options might be right for you. You should be evaluated by an experienced Sleep Apnea surgeon who can offer further options for you.