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, August 23, 2011

Stopping CPAP Treatment Leads to Rapid Recurrence of Sleep Apnea Symptoms

According to an article in press at the American Thoracic Society, removing CPAP treatment quickly leads to a return of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. The study recruited known sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea who were currently undergoing treatment using CPAP. These patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: either they would continue treatment or they would have it reduced to a non-therapeutic level. Patients underwent polysomnograms at both the beginning of the study and after two weeks, along with a battery of tests designed to detect other dangerous effects of sleep apnea.

Patients saw an increase in apneic events and oxygen desaturations during the study period. They also saw a significant recurrence of markers for other dangers of sleep apnea, most notably a negative impact on the cardiovascular system. According to the lead researcher on the study, “We have shown that CPAP withdrawal leads to a return of OSA within the first night off CPAP.”

This means that periodic compliance or even compliance with CPAP treatment on most nights is insufficient for treatment of the condition and makes it even more imperative that patients be prescribed an appropriate sleep apnea treatment they can comply with when diagnosed with sleep apnea, whether this is CPAP, dental appliances, surgery, or a combination of treatments.

To learn more about your full range of treatment options for sleep apnea, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 11:24 PM