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How to Choose the Right Treatment Solution for You

There are three common treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea:

  • Oral appliances (such as myTAP™ or the TAP®)
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Surgery

Except for surgery, treatment for sleep apnea involves action every night on your part. You must use a medical device each and every time you sleep to treat your snoring or sleep apnea. Therefore, it’s important that you choose a treatment option that fits into your lifestyle.

Ask yourself: “Do I want a non-invasive, reversible therapy?
Oral appliances and CPAP are non-invasive treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea. A non-invasive solution is one that does not involve surgery or inserting foreign objects into your body. You are in control of your treatment at all times when you use an oral appliance or CPAP. Both treatments are reversible and you can remove the device at any time if there is a problem. Surgical treatments for snoring and sleep apnea are invasive, are not reversible, may be painful and can require recovery time.

Ask yourself: “What am I willing to do every night to treat my problem?”
If you do not wear your oral appliance or CPAP, you will continue to have symptoms of the disease. Studies have shown that both of these therapies can work extremely well.
The catch is that you have to use your chosen device regularly to get relief from your snoring and sleep apnea. The therapy you choose will only be effective if you follow the doctor’s orders and sleep with your oral appliance or CPAP.

Ask yourself: “What type of therapy will fit into my lifestyle?”
Do you travel a lot? Would the sound of a CPAP machine disturb your sleep mate? Do you suffer from claustrophobia? Do you get your hair styled every week?

An oral appliance is hidden in your mouth, so it is more discrete than a CPAP machine and mask. Unlike CPAP, an oral appliance does not make any sound while in your mouth. Oral appliances are small and can easily fit into your pocket, briefcase or purse.

CPAP machines are typically size of a shoebox and need electricity. Once it is turned on, the machine makes noise as it blows air to help you breathe. It requires you to wear a mask over your nose and/or mouth. A hose connects the mask to the CPAP machine. The mask is held on by straps that can make you feel like you are tied up. Women, in particular, complain that the straps mess up their hair at night.

These examples are just a few lifestyle issues to consider when you choose a therapy.

Ask yourself: “Is the treatment recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine?”
There are many products and treatments that claim they get rid of snoring and sleep apnea. One way to know whether your treatment of choice is a “good” choice is to find out what a scientific or professional group recommends.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is a professional group of clinicians involved in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. They have an advisory board that reviews the science and success of different treatments options.



Read On...
To see a chart that compares treatment options, click here.  
To read the AASM treatment recommendations for snoring and sleep apnea, click here
 
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