AHRQ: CPAP Highly Effective in Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Mandibular advancement devices also found to be very effective in AHRQ report

MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are very effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but evidence supporting weight loss or surgery is not as strong, according to a report published Aug. 8 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The AHRQ evaluated data from a Comparative Effectiveness Review of studies regarding the diagnosis and treatment of OSA from the Tufts Evidence-based Practice Center. The report outlined the benefits and adverse events associated with treatment options for OSA.

The report revealed that the use of a CPAP machine during the night was effective in improving sleep and related symptoms of OSA. However, adverse effects associated with CPAP included feeling trapped, dry nose and mouth, nosebleeds, and chest discomfort. The report also revealed that use of MAD was effective in OSA. Adverse effects associated with MAD included potentially loose or damaged teeth. The data also revealed that weight loss and surgery to clear the airway blockage may also be effective; however, evidence behind these treatments was not as strong as with CPAP or MAD.

"Obstructive sleep apnea is a frustrating and debilitating condition for so many Americans, and millions of people don't even know they have it. The resultant poor sleep and daytime sleepiness can lead to work-related or driving accidents," AHRQ director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., said in a statement. "These guides and this new report will help patients and their doctors understand what treatment options might be best for them."

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