Therapy with nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) . II: Side-effects of nCPAP therapy. Effect on long-term acceptance
Kuhl, S.; Hollandt, J.H.; Siegert, R.
Laryngo- Rhino- Otologie 76(10): 608-613
nCPAP is a well established method for the management of OSAS. The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term side effects and complications of nCPAP therapy and their influence on the patients compliance with treatment. Forty-one patients with OSAS were interviewed by questionnaire to elucidate the problems and adverse effects of their nCPAP therapy. The patients were divided into responders and non-responders. Non-responding OSAS patients were using their nCPAP devices less then 5 hours each night by definition. The number of side effects and type of complication during nCPAP therapy were the same in both the responding and non-responding groups. The most frequently reported problems were a tender region on the bridge of the nose and discomfort associated with a dry nasal mucosa. Although nCPAP treatment was initially accepted by most patients, adverse effects and other difficulties decreased patient compliance, with time, in many cases. Despite there being no difference between responders and non-responders with respect to the number and severity of complications, it should not be presumed that these side effects do not influence long-term patient compliance with nCPAP therapy. Patients who suffer from symptoms of OSAS tend to accept these adverse effects, while those who do not feel limited by their disease are less persistent in their use of this treatment modality. Identification and elimination of the problems associated with the use of nCPAP equipment may increase longterm patient compliance. Close monitoring in the outpatient department combined with intermittent inpatient assessment in the sleep laboratory will also help to improve acceptance of nCPAP therapy.