Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 87–93 | Cite as

Nasal Breathing and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

  • Jan H. Hollandt
  • Malte Mahlerwein
Original Article


Although nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) treatment is the most efficient therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), compliance with therapy is poor because of several side effects. Among these adverse effects some are related to the reactions of the nose to nCPAP which are briefly described. In a long-term survey of 109 OSA patients, 80.6% continued nCPAP for at least 3 years until the last follow-up. Follow-up ranged between 0.8 and 109 months with a mean time of 43 (SD ± 24.7) months. Among all patients treated with nCPAP, only 46.6% met our criteria for long-term compliance, defined as a mean use of the CPAP machine for at least 5 hours per night. Within the objective measures such as age, body mass index, neck circumference, nasal airflow, apnea-hypopnea index, minimal oxygen saturation, and level of nCPAP pressure, no predictive factor for daily use of nCPAP could be found. However, pretherapeutic daytime somnolence (measured by visual analogue scale and Epworth Sleepiness Scale) and its improvement obtained from the therapy showed a significant effect on the daily use of the CPAP machine.


Sleep apnea continuous positive airway pressure side effects nasal resistance 


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Copyright information

© Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan H. Hollandt
    • 1
  • Malte Mahlerwein
    • 1
  1. 1.Klinik für Hals-, Nasen- und OhrenheilkundeUniversitätsklinikum Schleswig-HolsteinCampus LübeckGermany

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