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Should Asymptomatic Sleep Apnea Patients Be Treated?

Posted Aug 30 2010 6:15pm

Once in a while, I’ll come across someone with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea who feel fine. They deny any sleep problems or any daytime fatigue. In this situation, it’s hard to convince the patient that he or she should use CPAP or oral appliances. Here’s another study that shows why it’s important to treat obstructive sleep apnea, even if you’re not tired: Researchers from Spain showed that treating asymptomatic sleep apnea patients significant lowered their cardiovascular risks by 28%. Furthermore, sleep apnea patients with hypertension had a 50% reduction in cardiovascular events if they used CPAP for at least 4 hours every night.

If the patient is still resistant, I give the following example: If you had high blood pressure or diabetes, you’ll feel fine, right? But if your doctor told you that despite dieting and exercise, your numbers (blood pressure or glucose levels) are still on the high side and medications were recommended, would you consider it?

Do you have obstructive sleep apnea and are completely symptom free? If you’re on some sort of treatment, what motivated you to start treatment? I’d like to know. Please enter your reasons in the text area below.

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