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Study Finds CPAP Therapy May Not Be As Effective As Initially Thought

A surprising study for patients who use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy has found that this type of treatment may not be as effective as it was once initially thought to be. The study was conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and found that CPAP therapy was unable to show consistent benefits for users when it comes to outcomes such as heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and depression.

This means that if you are relying on CPAP therapy to help reduce your risk of these illnesses, you may not be getting what you’re hoping for. While the study did not examine in depth the reasons behind why CPAP therapy may not be as effective as initially thought, some experts believe it is due to “non-compliance” with the treatment, because many people who use CPAP therapy either do not use the machine regularly or they remove it during the night, rendering it useless.

Unfortunately, many researchers are concerned this new data will mean that patients with sleep apnea may eschew treatment at all if they feel as though CPAP is not worth it. They also worry that programs like Medicaid will cut CPAP benefits if they feel as though they are not worth the investment.

The good news is that CPAP is not the only treatment available for patients suffering from sleep apnea. For those who don’t know, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder marked by the repeated stopping and restarting of breathing throughout the night. Though there are several kinds of sleep apnea, the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes obstructed, causing the patient to struggle to breathe. This causes breathing problems as well as snoring. It also causes repeated waking throughout the night, which leads to poor quality of life during the day.

For those who have sleep apnea but do not like or use CPAP therapy, there are several treatment options available besides CPAP, including Nightlase or mandibular advancement devices or appliances (MAD’s), both of which are offered by Dr. Peterson. To discuss your options for your own sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Peterson’s office today.

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Posted in: sleep apnea

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