October 20, 2018
The holiday season will be here before you know it, and for many people, that means they will be hitting the road or the air to meet up with friends and family around the world to celebrate. Travel can be stressful enough, but if you have obstructive sleep apnea in Vero Beach, it can be a real nightmare. You have to worry about airport security checking your CPAP, trying to fit it into the overhead compartment, not knowing if you’ll be able to plug it in wherever you’re staying…it’s enough to make you just stay home! Fortunately, there’s something that can make all of these headaches go away, and it’s called combined therapy. What is it? Read on to find out!
What is Combined Therapy?
Combined therapy is a type of sleep apnea treatment that has a patient use the two most popular methods at the same time: CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy. A patient wears an oral appliance to bed, which slightly repositions the jaw to help keep the airway open, and they also wear a nasal mask connected to a CPAP machine. Basically, the appliance opens the airway, and the CPAP makes sure that oxygen is constantly flowing through it.
Many patients find this approach to be much more comfortable than CPAP therapy alone because, thanks to the support provided by the appliance, the machine can be put on a much lower setting, reducing the noise as well as the sensation of air being pumped into the throat. Patients are also able to just wear a small nasal mask as opposed to one that covers most of the face, helping the device feel less restrictive.
Traveling with Combined Therapy
With combined therapy, instead of having to take a bulky machine on the road in order to sleep, a patient can simply pack their oral appliance and keep their CPAP at home. Sleep appliances don’t have any cords or batteries, and they make absolutely no noise (which is great if you’re sharing a room). They can fit easily into any suitcase, small carry-on bag, or even your pocket as opposed to needing a separate piece of luggage. Wherever you’re staying, you don’t have to worry about plugging one in, and you can have the peace of mind knowing that your sleep apnea is still being treated.
How Can You Get Combined Therapy?
If you’re already using CPAP therapy in Vero Beach, how can you get an oral appliance for combined therapy? The answer is to talk to the sleep doctor who prescribed you the CPAP machine in the first place. Simply let them know that you’ll be traveling and would be interested in using combined therapy.
Most likely, they’ll give you a brief exam before referring you to a sleep dentist who will actually make your appliance, and they might have you undergo an additional sleep study using combined therapy to make sure it’s providing adequate treatment. If that all goes well, then you can enjoy the freedom of not being tethered to your CPAP anymore.
The holidays should be a time of fun and merriment, not stressing about whether or not you’ll be able to get the sleep you need. With combined therapy, you can give yourself one less thing to worry about this holiday season, ensuring you’ll enjoy smooth sailing and a great time wherever you intend to go.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a sleep dentist who has been serving the Vero Beach community for more than 30 years. At his practice, he provides high-quality, custom-made oral appliances to help patients overcome snoring and sleep apnea. If you would be interested in trying combined therapy, he can help you get started right away. You can contact Dr. Mogell through his website.
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