CPAP vs. oxygen for sleep apnea treatment: Heart health impact

Lana Bandoim's picture
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The debate about CPAP vs. oxygen as a sleep apnea treatment has been addressed by a new study. Researchers discovered that CPAP machines were able to lower blood pressure at night and helped improve hearth health in patients. Compared to supplemental oxygen, CPAP was a better option that led to more positive results.

Oxygen therapy vs. CPAP machines at night

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared three groups of patients by assigning each one a different type of therapy. The three groups included an education-only section, supplemental oxygen section and CPAP section. The results showed that the CPAP machines offered the best way to treat sleep apnea in the study compared to the other methods.

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CPAP was able to cut blood pressure, lower weight and improve insulin in the group of patients. Doctors viewed the results as a positive indication that the machines can have an impact on cardiovascular health. They have been encouraging the public to address sleep apnea problems instead of ignoring them and hoping the snoring would fade.

CPAP limitations and uses

CPAP has not been considered to be the most attractive medical device, so many patients have rejected the idea of wearing it. There have also been complaints about discomfort, reactions and noise, but the machines offer a valuable solution for people suffering from sleep apnea. Researchers have cautioned that they would like to see more long-term studies before changing the recommendations on the use of supplemental oxygen. However, they have already advised patients to consider CPAP as one option in their fight against snoring and sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause long-term problems such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Medical professionals recommend that people who suspect they may have sleep apnea discuss the problem with their doctors and seek treatment immediately.

Image: Zboralski/Wikimedia Commons

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