CPAP treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea helps to prevent daytime sleepiness

stethoscope

(Best Syndication News) - Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) patients reported less daytime sleepiness when using Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) equipment, according to a European study. The results were beneficial for those with minimal OSA reporting less daytime sleepiness after six months using CPAP equipment. The study results were presented today at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

CPAP is medical equipment that provides a constant flow of air to help keep the airway passages open while a person sleeps. In untreated obstructive sleep apnea, the airway passage becomes blocked when sleeping. Snoring is often a symptom that a person could have OSA. In order to be diagonosed with OSA, often a person goes to a sleep study lab to have their breathing measured to see how often they stop breathing during the night.

Previous research has shown the benefits of treating severe obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP for improving daytime sleepiness. The researchers wanted to investigate if individuals with OSA with few or without any symptoms were treated with CPAP to see if they too would have improved daytime alertness.

The researchers found 341 patients from 10 medical centers who has OSA but did not report any symptoms. The researchers had randomly assigned either using a CPAP for six months or have no treatment. Using the Epworth Sleepiness Score, the researchers were able to measure the participants daytime alertness. In addition, the researchers used the Oxford Sleep Resistance Test (OSLER), which was a questionnaire that asked the participants about their quality of life.

The results showed that the CPAP group showed a significant improvement of daytime alertness with reductions in sleepiness compared to the control group. Even though there was measurable alertness measured, around 25 percent of the patients stopped the CPAP treatments before the end of the study. The reason the participants gave for quitting was that they did not see the benefit to using CPAP.

BY: N Wilson

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