Alternatives to treating sleep apnea with a mask include lifestyle changes, dental devices, surgery and the implanted Inspire device. These options may relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea for people unable to adjust to sleeping with continuous positive airway pressure, according to WebMD.
Lifestyle changes that may prevent sleep apnea include losing weight, stopping the use of tobacco and avoiding the use of alcohol or sleeping pills. Smoking causes swelling of the tissues in the throat, which increases the risk of sleep apnea, explains WebMD. For some people with sleep apnea, learning to sleep in a different position prevents the collapse of the airway. Dental devices fit in the mouth to help keep the airway open. They do not require a mask to hold them in place, and dentists trained in treating sleep apnea can supply these devices.
Surgery is another option for treating sleep apnea, states WebMD. The surgeon might correct a deviated septum to open the airway, reduce snoring and prevent sleep apnea. Another option is a surgery to remove soft tissue from the throat to increase the size of the breathing passage. Mandibular maxillar advancement surgery repairs facial structure problems that cause apnea. The Inspire device produces electrical impulses that shock the muscles, causing them to contract. This stimulation helps to keep the airway open as the wearer sleeps.