Despite being the gold standard for the potentially life threatening condition, sleep apneamany people have issues using their CPAP machines. Many find the machines too cumbersome, or have issues with the mask not fitting quite right. Those suffering from PTSD find the CPAP machine especially difficult to use. In a recent podcast hosted on Sleep Review (a journal for sleep specialists) the future of CPAP devices was discussed, most notably, what designs are being implemented to help improve CPAP compliance.
It can be difficult traveling with a large CPAP machine, and if you travel a lot for your job (like a trucker for example) complying with your CPAP therapy can be a huge pain. Recently, a small CPAP device weighing less than one ounce has been developed. I firmly believe that a smaller, more portable device will make CPAP compliance much easier.
Keep it Clean
It is not uncommon for CPAP devices to come with a humidifier. While this is great to alleviate dryness and discomfort that can come with the CPAP therapy, they can be a little difficult to keep clean. The easiest way to remedy this would be to simply create a humidifier that is easy to disassemble and clean. A more high-tech (and in my humble opinion much cooler) method would be to create some kind of anti-microbial device like a UV light that would eliminate the need to constantly disassemble the device.
If the Mask Fits
Many patients have issues with the mask that comes with their CPAP devices not fitting entirely correctly. This can not only be annoying, but can reduce the effectiveness of the CPAP treatment. While personally fitting devices for sleep apnea is nothing new (dental appliances are usually fitted to each person individually) offering this kind of fit to more CPAP patients would definitely lead to more comfort while using the machine.
Compliance Is Key
A lot of these improvements are no-brainers, but while your CPAP device may not have as many bells and whistles as the devices we have envisioned it is important to comply with their CPAP therapy if you can, and if you can’t you need to find a better alternative. Sleep apnea means more than just a bad night of sleep. It can lead to overall poor physical health.
If you find that CPAP is not working out for you, consider some alternatives like dental appliances. If you have any questions about sleep apnea and are in the Denver area, please call the TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center of Colorado at (303) 691-0267 for an appointment with a sleep dentist .