Pros and Cons of Humidification for CPAP Therapy in the Treatment of Sleep Apnea



Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) is the treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Upper airway side effects associated with nCPAP treatment may result in lower acceptance and adherence rates. Heated humidification should be initiated when patients complain of relevant upper airway symptoms that are unresponsive to simple measures. The current literature suggests increased acceptance and adherence rates as well as higher subjective response in association with heated as opposed to cold-passover humidification. Modern CPAP variants such as auto-adjusted CPAP and/or expiratory pressure relief CPAP may be associated with fewer upper airway side effects and thus need for humidification.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patient Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Nasal Resistance Heated Humidification 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineLudwig-Boltzmann-Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology Otto-Wagner-SpitalWienAustria

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