Sleep Apnea Devices

Pros and Cons of Sleep Apnea Devices

There are plenty of sleep apnea devices on the market, and making the decision to buy a device to treat your apnea problem may be trickier than you think.

For people who have enough money to spend, choosing the most expensive sleep apnea device (following doctor's recommendation) may be straightforward.

However, you probably don't want to spend so much, mostly when you'll discover that some expensive devices are quite difficult to use.

In this article you'll discover:

  • what are the most common devices to treat sleep apnea,
  •  and what are the pros and cons of using them in your pursue for a healthier and better sleep.

The Most Common Sleep Apnea Devices

CPAP Machines - the GOLD therapy

CPAP therapy is the most effective method to treat sleep breathing disorders, but it's an expensive and difficult treatment to follow for many people.

Let's see why CPAP is the "gold standard" treatment for a patient with sleep apnea:

Pros of CPAP Machines:

For more info about the advantages of using CPAP, see CPAP Benefits.

Cons of CPAP Machines:

Although CPAP can improve your health and eliminate sleep apnea - as long as you wear it - patients may find CPAP disadvantages and many of them will give up too soon on CPAP due to:

  • high pressures required to keep the airway open at night.
  • uncomfortable
  • experience infections in the respiratory area if your device is not clean.
  • sore nose
  • dry mouth
  • irritated eyes
  • the most comfortable are very expensive.

For more info about the side effects of using CPAP, see CPAP Benefits.

Dental Devices for Sleep Apnea

A special oral appliance obtained from a qualified dentist can have almost the same rates of improvement as CPAP therapy.

Actually, for patients who can't tolerate the CPAP, a dental device for sleep apnea is the first thing to buy on their list.

There are two general categories of sleep apnea dental devices:

The most often used are mandibular advancing devices. They attach to the upper jaw and force the lower jaw forward, pulling also the base of the tongue with it and opening up the airway.

The tongue retaining devices are different, because they use a suction ball at the front of the mouth to hold the tongue forward and open the airway.

Side effects of dental devices for sleep apnea

Sleeping with a strange object in your mouth is not easy. You'll still need to confront some challenges, because the oral appliances can be:

  • uncomfortable to wear
  • less successful with severe obstructive sleep apnea
  • initiate problems with the temporomandibular joint
  • must be custom fitted
  • excess of saliva

To learn how to avoid problems with the oral appliances, see Sleep Apnea Dental Devices.

Side Sleeping Backpack

The side sleeping backpack is a new type of sleep apnea device that uses the principle of positional therapy to improve your sleep.

The benefits of positional therapy to improve sleep apnea is proved by clinical studies and testimonials of users and doctors.

Benefits of Side Sleeping Backpack:

  • very easy to use,
  • it has 2 sizes, with adjustable and inflatable airbag,
  • comfortable,
  • durable material and strong built,
  • keeps you sleeping on the side all night.
  • can be used in conjunction with CPAP or dental devices.

Cons of the Side Sleeping Backpack

  • not effective in severe apnea patients,
  • improvements only in obstructive apnea patients,
  • sleeping on the side may cause shoulder pain.

For more info about bumper belt device, see Positional Therapy.


Provent is a new device FDA approved, necessary especially for emerging obstructive apnea therapy.

Provent is one of the most controversial sleep apnea devices on the market, especially for the working principle: the valves-stickers will be applied to your nose, and they will partially close during expiration.

Because the air can't escape from your nose, it will create pressure in your airways keeping them open until the next inspiration.

This video explains how Provent works:

Although clinical trials demonstrated its efficiency, Provent doesn't work for every patient with OSA. If you want to buy this device, you have to consider at least two factors:

  • you have to test how effective Provent by wearing it during a sleep study.
  • the valves are used only one time, which means you have to use a new Provent every time you go to sleep. The pack costs around $70, so it's quite expensive.

Pillow for Sleep Apnea

This special pillow can help the airway of your throat to stay open, eliminating snoring and sleep apnea as long as you use it.

Benefits: The pillow is designed with panels of foam that are elevated, unlike a regular pillow. The elevation of your head has the purpose to increase your breathing patterns to make it regular and without apnea episodes.

Cons: Sleep apnea pillows help only patients with mild obstructive apnea or snoring.

To learn how to choose a sleep apnea pillow, see alternative cures for sleep apnea.

Further Reading:

Side sleeper pillow

Sleep apnea medications

What is the best cure for sleep apnea?

Using a portable pulse oximeter to diagnose apnea syndrome

› Sleep Apnea Devices
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