Coronavirus And Using The CPAP
One of the most challenging aspects of stopping the spread of COVID-19 is that many people who have the virus are asymptomatic and don’t realize they have it. This is especially important for CPAP users to realize. Why? It’s well known that the CPAP can increase the spread of an infectious disease by aerosolizing the virus. That means that an individual using the device to help with their sleep apnea symptoms could be spreading COVID-19 to their sleep partner even if they don’t know they have the virus.
CPAP machines have even been used in emergency hospital settings to help patients with certain breathing problems. In the current situation, however, using the machine will create an infectious problem if the patient has COVID-19. The face mask allows air to escape, pumping the virus to surrounding patients and caregivers nearby and potentially infecting them. The same goes for CPAP users at home, too.
If you are using a CPAP machine and do have COVID-19, or even if you are concerned about using it during this time, there are alternatives to help with your sleep apnea symptoms. Oral appliances help sleep apnea sufferers by opening their airway, just like the CPAP. In fact, people who cannot tolerate the machine or want a different option use oral appliances as their main sleep apnea therapy device.
Oral appliances work to keep your airway open while you sleep either by shifting your lower jaw forward and/or preventing the tongue from blocking the throat. These appliances are customized to fit your mouth and be comfortable to wear. You won’t have to deal with the noise of a bulky machine, either. Many people have made the switch from a CPAP to oral appliances because they are more convenient. The bottom line is that they help you get a good night’s rest, give you enough air to breathe properly and avoid keeping your bed partner awake with snoring.
If you would like to explore an oral appliance option for your sleep apnea symptoms, please call our Poulsbo office today. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation with our doctor.
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