Recently, Phillips has updated its recall for millions of CPAP devices due to suspected issues related to foam breakdown in the devices' respirators. Since first announced in 2021, consumers have reported injuries as diverse as headache, cough, respiratory problems, nodules, pneumonia, and even cancer related to the use of these devices. This has left some people wondering if CPAP is safe for treating sleep apnea.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has been used in medical settings for more than 100 years. Its use as a home device for sleep apnea treatment is more recent, but it has still been a trusted treatment method of at-home care for over 40 years.
The Phillips recall is not related to CPAP itself. Rather, it is related to component parts of specific makes and models from a single manufacturer. This recall has nothing at all to do with the safety or efficacy of CPAP.
Is CPAP safe? Yes.
Is it necessary? Not always.
CPAP remains the most effective treatment for central sleep apnea (CSA). This type of apnea is linked to miscommunication between the brain and the lungs. For patients with CSA, CPAP provides a consistent flow of oxygen while sleeping and can be an incredibly useful tool.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is not related to miscommunication. Instead, as the name implies, it's related to obstruction, typically from the tongue or soft palate. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea, accounting for around 80% of all diagnoses. Patients with OSA can use CPAP, but they may not need to. In fact, a simple snore guard may be all it takes to address the issue in these cases.
We offer the latest and most effective oral devices for sleep apnea treatment at NYC Smile Design. We also provide orthodontic and restorative dentistry services that can change the shape of the bite to improve breathing and help prevent obstruction. The best way to learn if one (or both) of these options could provide a suitable alternative to CPAP in your case is through a one-on-one consultation at our comfortable Manhattan office.
Treating sleep apnea is essential. In addition to cognitive difficulties, mood changes, nightmares, and chronic fatigue, untreated sleep apnea can raise your risk for metabolic syndrome, a host of cardiovascular conditions that increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type two diabetes. An estimated 74 to 85% of patients diagnosed with OSA eventually experience one of these disorders. If you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, learning about your treatment options can help you avoid these more severe risks.