If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can help keep the condition under control.
However, using a CPAP machine can come at the price of several troublesome side effects. And while the side effects may not be life-threatening, they sometimes require attention.
When you use a CPAP machine, the flow of pressurized air can dry out your nasal passages. To compensate, your body produces more mucus, which leaves you to deal with chronic sinus congestion.
Using a sleep apnea machine that has an attached, heated humidifier can help prevent congestion. At bedtime, you can also try a saline nasal spray. If neither of those helps with the stuffiness, your doctor may prescribe a steroid nasal spray or recommend one that you can purchase over the counter.
Do you sleep with your mouth open? Breathing through your mouth at night can cause dry mouth, and some CPAP machines may exacerbate the condition. Dry mouth is a leading cause of oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Instead of wearing a nasal mask, try a full-face-style mask that covers both your mouth and nose. Or use a chin strap to keep your mouth closed. Either option can help alleviate dry mouth.
If your CPAP mask doesn’t fit comfortably on your face, wearing it can irritate your skin.
This problem can often be solved by switching to a different type of mask. Several styles are available, so you may be able to find one that better suits your face shape. Be sure you have the right size. Most CPAP masks are adjustable, but size does matter when it comes to getting a proper fit.
Can’t Tolerate Forced Air
If you’re like some patients, the pressurized air flow from a sleep apnea machine may be difficult to tolerate.
Many CPAP machines have a “ramp” feature, which works to gradually increase the air pressure as you fall asleep. If yours doesn’t, or if this adjustment doesn’t help, a different type of device could be the answer. A bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine provides more pressure as you inhale and less as you exhale, which can help make breathing easier.
Is Sleep Apnea Surgery Right for You?
Are you tired of dealing with the side effects from CPAP machines? Sleep apnea surgery could provide a permanent solution to your problems.
An oral surgeon can enlarge your airway to correct the underlying cause of your OSA. After the procedure, you won’t have to worry about using a CPAP machine — or battling chronic sleep apnea — any longer.
Surgery is not appropriate for every patient. To find out if it may be the right treatment for you, come in for a consultation with one of our Utah oral surgeons.
The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, has the experience and qualifications to determine if you are a good candidate for oral surgery treatment. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule your consultation for sleep apnea surgery.