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CPAP Doesn’t Help Daytime Sleepiness Issues For Some OSA Patients

A sleep apnea study conducted at the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil has found that some obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients who use continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) devices still suffer from daytime sleepiness issues as well as the problems that come from daytime fatigue. The study looked deeply into how the brains of patients functioned when they were consistently adhering to CPAP therapy, depending on whether or not they reported residual excessive sleepiness (RES) after treatment.

Past studies have shown that between six and 34 percent of sleep apnea patients who use CPAP therapy still report issues with daytime drowsiness and fatigue.

Taking A Closer Look

The sleep apnea study, “Neurocognitive function in patients with residual excessive sleepiness from obstructive sleep apnea,” was published in October 2016 in the journal, Sleep Medicine. In the study, researchers took a close look at two groups of 15 patients with OSA: 15 people who reported residual excess sleepiness after CPAP treatment and 15 people who did not report RES after CPAP treatment. All of the patients were 35-60 years old and were of both sexes. All of the patients used CPAP consistently and for a significant amount of time each night.

The study found that those who reported residual excess sleepiness had lower verbal fluency and lower executive functioning, in relation to issues like paying attention and managing time. Those with RES also were more likely to suffer from depression or have signs of depression.

“These individuals do not respond to treatment, and eventually will drop CPAP because they do not feel better,” said lead study author Ksdy Werli, speaking of the patients who still feel drowsy during the day even with OSA treatment. “We chose to study this issue aiming to understand the real difficulties of these patients.”

It is still unclear why some patients still suffer from daytime sleepiness when being treated for sleep apnea, although it seems clear that the issue of daytime sleepiness is a serious one.

The Problem of Daytime Sleepiness

While sleep apnea’s largest consequences include obesity, heart health, and mental health, excessive daytime sleepiness can be an extremely large problem that deeply affects the health and safety of patients. Daytime sleepiness can lead to:

  • Car accidents and accidents at work.
  • Compromised work performance.
  • Poorer general health.
  • Issues with memory.
  • Issues with executive functioning.
  • Issues with depression and anxiety.
  • Impaired judgement.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Lowered quality of life.

Because of these risks and issues, it is very important that all sleep apnea sufferers are treated for all aspects of their OSA.

Surgical Sleep Solutions For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

While it is not clear why a significant percentage of patients still suffer from daytime sleepiness despite the careful use of a CPAP device, those who do suffer from RES and use CPAP may consider an alternative treatment in order to secure better results. At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we use an innovative bimaxillary advancement procedure to open the airway and cure more than 95 percent of our patients. To learn more about our surgical options, or to schedule a consultation, please call us today at (855) 560-7378 or contact us below to learn more.

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