Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Patient Inquiry: CPAP Diagnosis

From patient:

Already diagnosed and been on CPAP since march. Dr. told me to stop using it about a month ago since I have mild-moderate apnea and the mask disrupts my sleep.

Response to Patient:

DEAR ____,

STOPPING CPAP WITHOUT OTHER TREATMENT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND COULD LEAD TO DIRE OR EVEN LIFE THREATENING CONSEQUENCES. PATIENTS WITH UNTREATED APNEA ARE MORE LIKELY TO DIE IN THEIR SLEEP THAN WHEN EXERCISING. THERE IS UP TO A SIX-FOLD INCREASE IN HEART ATTACKS, STROKES AND MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS.

WITH MILD TO MODERATE APNEA YOU NEED TREATMENT. IF CPAP IS NOT ACCEPTABLE SEEK OUT AN ALTERNATIVE: ORAL APPLIANCES OR SURGERY.

posted by Dr Shapira at 2:37 PM