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October 07, 2010

CPAP Masks Causes Facial Changes With Time

CPAP is a machine that pushes air into a person while they are sleeping to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a medical condition where a person stops breathing multiple times throughout the night leading to all sorts of medical problems including increased risk of hypertension, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, heart attack, etc.

In order for this device to work, a mask must be worn while sleeping in order for the air to get pushed into the lungs.

It is considered the gold standard treatment for OSA.

However, a new study has found that prolonged use of CPAP masks lead to slight shifts in jaw and position of teeth along with other craniofacial changes. Previous studies have already reported midfacial hypoplasia in children using CPAP.

How long before such changes can occur in adults? In as little as 2 years.

Fortunately, there are other options beyond CPAP that can help minimize and possibly even cure OSA via surgical procedures.

Read a Businessweek article about this here.

Read the research here.

Reference:
Craniofacial changes after 2 years of nasal continuous positive airway pressure use in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Chest. 2010 Oct;138(4):870-4. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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