For many people with obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are the go-to treatment for uninterrupted sleep. However, some patients may have trouble tolerating the mask, or find the machine loud or impractical for travel.

Fortunately, alternative sleep apnea treatments are available for Central Oregon residents. The team at Deschutes River Family Medicine in Bend provides diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, including CPAP therapy and other solutions that go beyond the mask.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airways open. This obstruction can cause fragmented sleep and reduced oxygen levels, leading to several health problems.

Major symptoms include:

• Snoring
• Waking up to gasping or choking sounds
• Feeling excessively tired during the day
• Grogginess in the morning
• Concentration issues

Those with the following factors are more likely to suffer from OSA:

• Obesity
• Thick necks
• Anatomical abnormalities related to the airway
• Age
• Depends on sedatives or alcohol to help sleep

The Standard Treatment: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

The most common treatment for obstruction sleep apnea is the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. CPAP machines work by blowing a steady stream of air into the throat to stop the airway from closing up and promote better sleep.

While CPAP therapy is generally effective, some patients have trouble getting used to the mask and the machine’s noise. This is particularly true for people who travel frequently, as it may be always on mobile therapy.

Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatment in Bend

The team at Deschutes River Family Medicine offers a comprehensive, individualized approach to OSA treatment. Once diagnosed, a variety of minimally-invasive treatment options may be considered, depending on the patient’s unique needs:

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)

Mandibular advancement devices are worn like a mouth guard at night to keep the airway open. They work by gently moving the jaw forward, providing more space between the tongue and the back of the throat. MADs are available over the counter, but our team can help you determine if one is right for you.

Palatal Implants

Palatal implants are less common, and typically used for mild to moderate OSA. During the procedure, tiny, woven polyester implants are inserted into the soft palate to reduce vibrations and keep the airway open during sleep. Most patients can return to regular activities within 24 hours of the relatively quick, in-office procedure.


In severe cases of OSA that do not respond well to other treatments, surgery may be recommended. The most common procedure is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP. This procedure involves removing excess tissue from the back of the throat to widen the airway.

Work with Our Bend Counselors for Sleep Apnea Solutions

Obstructive sleep apnea can have a significant impact on health and quality of life. Fortunately, our team provides diagnostics and a variety of treatment options in Bend and the surrounding area. Working with our skilled healthcare staff will help ensure a custom treatment plan that meets your unique needs, so you can breathe easier and get better rest. Contact the office at Deschutes River Family Medicine to schedule a sleep apnea consultation today.