If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing is interrupted multiple times during sleep and can cause many health problems, then you may be familiar with the different types of treatment devices. However, if you’ve just been diagnosed, you may not know much about them yet.

There are different devices for all different levels of sleep apnea (mild, moderate and severe). They are as follows:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine delivers continuous air flow into someone’s throat so that the airways stay stable and do not collapse while the person is breathing. It consists either of a mask that will cover the nose and the mouth or one that covers only the nose (nasal continuous positive airway pressure – NCPAP). The mask is attached to the motor which blows the air into the person’s airways.

CPAP treatment is usually reserved for the most severe cases of sleep apnea.

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

Mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are the most common mouth fixtures used for sleep apnea. They resemble mouth guards that athletes wear and fit inside a person’s mouth securely. They ease the mandible forward, which helps to diminish constraint in the back of the throat, thus opening the airways for more comfortable sleep.

This type of fixture is mainly used for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.