August 16, 2011

CPAP Is Effective Treatment For Sleep Apnea

With the Federal budget under the stress it is, why do we need more reports verifying what we already know. This has to be one of the more wasteful reports funded by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). They told us that the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the effective way to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The report also cited another treatment with a mouthpiece called a mandibular advancement device (MAD) as being very effective. Both the CPAP and MUD have been known to be effective for several years and I have known this and have seen several studies reporting this, so my question is why the need to reinforce this and spend money to do it. The report also failed to mention the other oral equipment that is available.

Then the report goes on to state that weight loss and surgery may also be effective, but the evidence is not as strong. What the report fails to mention is that surgery can not be undone and if done improperly more damage can be done. The report does note that all treatments have possible side effects, but I have had very few minor side effects with the CPAP machine. These are all things that the American Sleep Apnea Association has had on their web site. If you have sleep apnea, take time to familiarize yourself with the site, and investigate the sleep apnea forum. The web site has been revamped so some of the blog links below may only take you to the site.

Apparently the current administration feels the necessity to duplicate the findings of others so that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have a government report to use in their decisions for approving or disapproving reimbursements.

What all sources fail to recognize is that the majority of doctors prescribe the CPAP machine and leave the dental profession to prescribe the mouthpiece. The patient seldom is even told about the other equipment. Both doctors and dentists use sleep studies and current practice prohibits referrals when something does not work. If I had not done my homework I might not have become aware of this.

I have written several blogs on sleep apnea and you may read more from these. The most recent on sleep apnea surgery is on February 9, 2011, and another more detailed on urgery is on October 4, 2010. For a blog on oral appliances read this blog. For two parts on identifying sleep apnea read here and here. Then I have another two part blog on sleep apnea and hospitalization here and here. I have several other blogs about the importance of sleep in managing diabetes which I will leave and if someone desires them please make a comment.

The article that started this blog is here and a copy with added detail is here.

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