Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder found in a large part of the US population, and is said to affect around 18 million people. CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) is a treatment that is regularly used to manage the disorder bipap. The CPAP system makes use of a small air compressor to provide a constant, pressurised airflow to the sufferers airway. This helps lessen the sleep apnea symptoms.
This positive pressure airflow works quite well to keep the airway clear during sleep, and reduces the chance of obstruction if the soft tissues of the mouth and throat collapse. One of the downfalls of CPAP therapy is that it can be quite uncomfortable for the sufferer, the pressurised mask can make exhaling a little labored and the airflow can cause throat dryness. But there are a range of CPAP alternatives, and this article will look at some of them.
One of the most simple alternatives to CPAP is the use of positional therapy as a non-invasive treatment. This is simply the act of changing the sleeping position of the sufferer to provide relief. There are a number of products that can help, from foam wedges, to special pillows and shirts that adjust the position that the sufferer can sleep in.
By inclining the body a little, the effects of gravity on the soft throat tissues is changed, and the tissues are less likely to block the airway. Positional therapy is most often used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea need a different approach as it is the inability of the brain to regulate the breathing that is central to this form of the condition. But if combined with additional treatments, positional therapy can also help the central form of the condition.
BiPAP therapy is also used as a cpap alternative. BiPAP (BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure), like CPAP, creates a positive airway pressure to assist the sleep apnea sufferer to breathe. The great thing about BiPAP however, is that it monitors the patients breathing, and reduces the airflow when the patient exhales, making breathing a lot easier. So BiPAP offers an equally effective treatment to CPAP, treats obstructive and central sleep apneas, AND makes the exhalation process a lot more comfortable for the user. A win-win situation. There is however another type of sleep apnea, called complex sleep apnea. Both cpap and bipap systems are less effective in the treatment of this condition.