A new study has found that the use of a CPAP machine does *not* eliminate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, but merely treats it.
OSA is a fairly common and fortunately treatable sleep disorder. Affected individuals stop breathing for periods of time while they sleep. The solution is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night.
The new study, conducted in Switzerland and reported in the August 10 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. looked into whether CPAP users would find that their apnea returned when the machine is not used. The study goals were to validate a new strategy to assess the physiological effects of OSA and to study new therapies during a period of CPAP withdrawal, as well as to evaluate the effects of CPAP withdrawal. 41 patients with OSA treated with CPAP were assigned to either CPAP withdrawal (subtherapeutic CPAP) or to continue CPAP for 2 weeks. The study found that the group that had CPAP withdrawn saw a return of apnea, as well as corresponding sleepiness.