Sleep apnea treatment options
You know the benefits of treating sleep apnea. Now the only question is how.
There are four common sleep apnea treatment options:
- Positive airway pressure therapy (non-invasive)
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) delivers constant airflow to people while they sleep. CPAP is often referred to as “the gold standard” treatment option and is the most commonly prescribed.
APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) automatically varies its air pressure throughout the night in response to a person’s needs, making treatment more comfortable.
Bilevel therapy is typically used when someone needs a higher pressure for effective treatment.
- Oral appliance therapy (non-invasive) A mandibular repositioning device (MRD) is a custom-fitted mouthpiece that holds your jaw in a forward position while you sleep to expand the space behind your tongue. This helps keep your upper airway open, preventing apneas and snoring. They’re proven effective for people with mild and moderate obstructive sleep apnea,1 but might also be prescribed to patients with severe OSA who cannot tolerate CPAP.
- Surgery (invasive) There are several surgical procedures that can improve the exact area of obstruction in patients’ upper respiratory tracts. “Often it takes a combination of procedures to achieve success,” according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. And as with all invasive surgical procedures, there is the risk of negative side effects.
- Weight loss In some patients with milder forms of sleep apnea, losing weight can help reduce apneas and alleviate their symptoms.
Before choosing a sleep apnea treatment option, talk with your doctor. The severity of your sleep apnea, your current physical condition and medical history will help determine the best plan for you.
Will insurance cover my sleep apnea treatment?
Before you get your equipment, check with your insurance provider to find out if sleep apnea therapy is covered under your existing plan, and if there are any limitations, restrictions or other considerations. Most sleep apnea therapy is covered, but check with your provider to be sure.
Contact your insurance provider at the phone number listed on your insurance card and ask if you are required to use a contracted supplier for home medical equipment. If the answer is yes, ask your insurance provider for a list of contracted suppliers and contact the supplier directly to see whether it offers ResMed products.
If the answer is no and you are not required to use a contracted supplier, or you plan on paying cash for your equipment, contact us directly for a list of suppliers in your area that offer ResMed products.
Finally, remember that dental sleep apnea appliances also require insurance approval from your medical insurance, not your dental insurer.
How do I pick a home medical equipment (HME) provider?
First ask your insurance provider if you are required to use a specific HME provider. If you have a choice between providers, here are questions you can ask to determine which will give you the best service and support:
- Patient education. Does the staff explain the importance of treatment, and how to use and take care of your equipment?
- Mask choices. Do they offer a wide variety of masks to suit your unique facial features and lifestyle needs?
- Proper fitting setup. Will they ensure that your mask fits properly by fitting you in their office while you’re lying down?
- Objective compliance data. Do they offer monitoring tools so they can track your treatment usage and report it back to your doctor or sleep physician?
- Patient follow-up. Will they call you a few days after setup to answer questions and concerns you might have? Do they a system in place to remind you when it’s time to service or replace your equipment as needed?
- On-call patient support. On what days and hours is their staff readily available to discuss issues related to your sleep apnea treatment?