Coronavirus FAQs: CPAP Recommendations, Cautions, and Alternatives

Our lives have changed in many ways since March when the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic came to the United States.  Now we are bombarded with instructions and recommendations to keep us safe and minimize the health impact to our country.  I trust we are all doing our part with social distancing, washing our hands to reduce transmission, and even using masks in many circumstances.  Many of us need to take additional precautions for ourselves and those around us, including people with sleep apnea using a CPAP. If you are using CPAP and wondering what the guidelines are during the Covid-19 outbreak, …

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OSA Therapy Choice and Compliance

The two most common therapies for Obstructive Sleep Apnea are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and mandibular advancement splints (oral appliance). These two therapies have similar benefits to patients but differ in comfort, ease of use and compliance levels. Traditionally, CPAP has been the first choice of physicians for treatment of patients with OSA.  Low CPAP compliance rates and high efficacy results for the oral appliance have physicians reconsidering this choice. Studies show that 30 to 50% of CPAP users are noncompliant. In contrast, oral appliance users report nearly 100% compliance. Noncompliant patients are at risk of stroke, obesity, drowsy …

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Does skipping CPAP for one night really matter?

A recent study found that sleep apnea, even for one night, can affect blood pressure.  “After just six hours of fluctuating oxygen levels, similar to what happens with sleep apnea, the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure is impaired.”   There is an immediate impact on the body’s ability to maintain a normal blood pressure from sleep apnea the night before. A patient is considered “compliant” if he or she wears a CPAP for 70% of nights; however, every untreated night affects the next day’s health.  Maybe a treatment with a higher compliance rate should be considered.  Mandibular advancement devices (oral …

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