The Limits of the CPAP
For many years, the continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine has been the standard in treating obstructive sleep apnea. Designed to produce a seal over the nose and mouth to open the airway with a gentle breeze – the positive pressure of the name – CPAPs have shown exceptionally good results in many millions of sufferers.
But not everybody. Researchers have investigated the level of patient compliance with CPAP machines, and found the numbers lacking in many ways:
The study authors reviewed the medical records of just over 600 people. All of them had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea after a sleep study and were immediately prescribed CPAP.
Just 42 percent began using CPAP regularly as directed. Only about a third of the remaining people who weren’t using CPAP were referred to a specialist to help them manage their sleep apnea.
This is hardly surprising when you consider how big and loud the machine is, and how deeply it can interrupt normal bedtime routines and intimacy. What is surprising is how few of these noncompliant patients were referred out to a specialist to consider other options:
For some, CPAP is the only appropriate treatment, but others may have additional options, including dental devices and surgery, Kaminsky said.
My sinus surgery center focuses on several approaches to sleep apnea, up to and including some safe and effective surgical interventions. To learn more and speak with a specialist today, contact the offices of Dr. Mani Zadeh.