Table of Contents

    The Sleep Apnea Device That Costs $2000+

    Closeup doctor hands holding white card sign with sleep disorder text message

    Pre-emptive treatment for those who show symptoms of mild to dangerous sleep disorders could be a very wise investment. Sleep apnea is a hazardous sleep disorder that greatly impacts your health. The cost of its treatment varies according to your subscribed insurance and prescribed treatment. 

    The diagnosis starts somewhere around $1,000. Additionally, devices can cost up to $1,800 and surgical treatment may involve an expense of at least $10,000. To maximize cost coverage, you should negotiate the complete term of treatment with your physician and insurance company. 

    What Is Sleep Apnea?

    Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which a person suffers from periodic breathing ruptures. The period for which the person stops breathing ranges from 10-30 seconds. Obese individuals are at more risk to develop sleep apnoea. That’s because the fat in the upper airway tends to obstruct the airflow towards the lungs. While the disorder is more common among people who are overweight, many thin people also suffer from the disorder.

    Sleep apnea is generally categorized into three types. The first type is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles relax. The second type is central sleep apnea. This is when the brain fails to send accurate signals to the muscles responsible for breathing. The third type is the complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is when a patient suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

    Patients suffering from this disorder commonly experience:

    • Loud snoring
    • Intervals of obstructed breathing
    • Insomnia
    • Cases of struggling for air
    • Dry mouth in the morning
    • Headache
    • Feeling tired upon waking up
    • Increased fits of daytime sleep
    • Weakened attention span
    • Irritability

    Self-diagnosis can lead to further complications. Before that happens, it’s advised to consult a doctor.

    Sleep Study

    The sleep study is the preliminary step in the diagnosis stage. Polysomnography, or sleep study, is the method where examiners record the body’s activity while the patient is asleep. 

    The complete costs for the treatment depend on the treatment prescriptions and the hospital facilities. Some hospitals provide additional consultation options, although this could add to the total cost. However, most insurance companies cover additional costs for polysomnography.

    Mouthpiece And Dental Devices

    Oral appliances can be an effective treatment for patients suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. A dentist or an orthodontist will examine if these devices need to be fitted inside the mouth or not. If prescribed, they must be worn at night.

    Such devices include:

    • Mandibular Advancement Device (MADs). This is a common mouthpiece prescribed to patients of obstructive apnea. In structure, it somewhat resembles the mouthguard worn by sportsmen.  This device reduces airflow obstruction by displacing the soft tissue which increases the airflow diameter. The tissue is displaced due to the mandibular protrusion. Although there’s an ongoing debate in the dental circle around the efficacy of MADs in preventing apnea, it still stands as one of the most widely used mouthpieces amongst patients of this particular disorder
    • Tongue Retaining Device. Less commonly used than MAD, this device expands the airway by holding the tongue in place with the support of splints. In case your mouthpieces are painful during chewing, consult your dentists for readjustment. Early and regular check-ups are a must if you’ve been fitted with one of these. These follow-ups will determine its effectiveness and if there’s a need for readjustment

    Other Options

    Here are two alternative options that help treat the sleeping disorder:

    • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is the standard surgical treatment in which the excess soft tissue is removed from the back of the patient’s throat
    • More commonly, patients resort to the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This involves the use of a machine that constantly pumps air into the oral and nasal passage. The machine comprises a mask fitting over the patient’s nose and mouth, a motor to pump air, and a cannula (large tube) connecting the mask and the motor

    Although the device is more common than surgical treatments, its efficiency is offset by problems of intolerance and poor compliance.

    How Much Does A Device Cost?

    • The costs of oral appliances can range from $1,800 to $2,000. This cost includes the mouthpiece as well as the visits to the dentists for adjustment, check-up, and modifications. Medicare and Medicaid are two popular insurance schemes that cover costs for these appliances
    • Surgical treatments are fairly expensive and cost anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000
    • CPAP can cost up to $3,000. The treatment requires regular maintenance and additional costs may or not be included in the insurance

    Conclusion

    Sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues, including fatal heart diseases. For anyone experiencing even mild symptoms of such a disorder, it’s imperative to make timely investments in its treatment. Keep in mind that different treatments are suited to different people. Patients experiencing this disorder must regularly consult both doctors and their insurance agents for suitable and cost-effective treatment.