CPAP Vs. Surgery: Which One Is Best?

People who suffer from sleep apnea are often at one time or another faced with the decision to either use a CPAP machine, or to get corrective surgery. The CPAP is a breathing machine that fastens around the mouth and forces oxygen into the airways of the sleeping patient. It is a common treatment for sleep apnea.

Surgery, on the other hand, is only occasionally recommended for patients, and often only under special circumstances. If you're trying to decide which option is best for you, consider these factors.

Benefits of CPAP Machines

CPAP machines can reduce the chances serious health problems for which sleep apnea sufferers are at high risk. This includes stroke, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. By improving the patient's quality of sleep, CPAP machines improve daytime alertness, reduce the risk of automobile accidents, and improve patient concentration and memory. CPAP also reduces the sleep apnea sufferer's risk for emotional and mental health issues like depression.

CPAP machines are relatively portable, and come in small travel sizes for frequent travelers. The CPAP machine keeps the airways open while the patient breathes, which may reduce or eliminate the sound of snoring.

CPAP Disadvantages

CPAP machines do require some regular maintenance. CPAP masks must be cleaned on a daily basis, and disinfected on a weekly basis. The tubes and headgear of the CPAP machine must be cleaned on a regular basis, as well. As with all mechanical devices, CPAP machines sometimes break and may require maintenance when this occurs.

Benefits of Surgery

When sleep apnea surgery is successful, it can eliminate or greatly reduce the effects of sleep apnea. For some patients, this is a permanent fix that will eliminate sleep apnea forever.

Surgery Disadvantages

The surgery to correct sleep apnea only works approximately 65% of the time, and among those who do experience relief, some will find that the benefits of the surgery wears off with time. The surgery to correct sleep apnea is painful and complications are relatively common. Infection and problems swallowing can result. In some cases, follow-up surgeries are recommended.

Many Doctors Recommend CPAP

Many physicians recommend trying the CPAP machine first, and will only recommend surgeries if the CPAP machine isn't working out. As you pick the best option for you, remember that patients who can sleep comfortably wearing a breathing mask will often find that the CPAP machine is more than adequate for their needs.

To learn more, contact a company like CPAP Solutions with any questions or concerns you have.