Understanding Sleep Apnea
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor has likely prescribed you with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). However, there are many reasons why you should seek a second opinion on your treatment options.
Doctors Prescribe CPAP Reflexively
For many doctors, there’s only one treatment for sleep apnea: CPAP. They prescribe it routinely without considering whether the treatment is right for you or your condition. If you feel like your doctor didn’t evaluate your condition carefully, you should seek a second opinion.
Doctors Don’t Know Oral Appliances Are a Frontline Treatment
Another problem is that many doctors think oral appliances are only good as a backup treatment if CPAP fails. That’s not true: oral appliances are a frontline treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. The science supports this, and insurance companies endorse it–they will pay for an oral appliance as a frontline treatment.
Doctors Won’t Evaluate Your Airway
Doctors want to make sure you get an effective treatment. Since they might not have the tools, training, or time to evaluate your airway, they simply recommend the treatment that is most likely to work. (If you use it.) However, a simple airway evaluation can show whether you will benefit from an oral appliance. We can do this analysis and make sure you are getting the best treatment for you.
Doctors Don’t Think about Your Time and Expense
It’s a common problem that doctors prescribe treatments and medications without considering what they will cost you, and with CPAP that can be a lot. While your insurance company will cover some of the cost of your CPAP, you still have deductibles and co pays, not to mention the time and effort it takes to get your CPAP fitted and titrated.
Then you have to try to get used to it for several months. And if you’re not careful about returning your machine on time, you might end up getting stuck paying for a machine you can’t use. Sometimes it’s better to skip that time and expense and go right to a sleep apnea treatment you will use.