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.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Combination Therapy More Effective Than CPAP Alone

According to research presented last week at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), combination therapy is more effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea than CPAP alone. The study also showed that people tended to be more tolerant of CPAP therapy when it was combined with oral appliance therapy.

The small study looked at 10 women and 10 men who were being treated for severe obstructive sleep apnea. The patients experienced a mean of 66 apneic events or breathing pauses prior to treatment. When treated with CPAP, the number of events decreased to only 4.4 per hour, and 2.6 with combined therapy. Although the vast majority of breathing interruptions were corrected with CPAP alone, patients experienced considerable benefit from MAS when measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). ESS scores decreased from a mean of 10.1 before treatment to 7.9 with CPAP treatment to 4.9 with combination treatment, showing that even if the changes in breathing interruptions may not seem to be as significant, the contribution to a person's quality of life may be dramatic.

Researchers also note that patients who did not comply with CPAP therapy alone were comfortable with combination therapy, but did not release clear data to support this assertion.

If you are struggling with CPAP therapy and are looking for a more comfortable alternative, oral appliance or combination therapy may be a better option for you. To learn more, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 12:48 PM