Even with CPAP, the Burden of Daytime Sleepiness for Sleep Apnea Patients Can Persist

This research by Sleep Review is particularly alarming for employers, car-drivers, and heavy equipment operators.


Clinicians should focus directly on the symptom of EDS, suggests a new review.

By Lisa Spear

Car accidents caused by drowsy driving and mounting medical bills are just a few of the personal and economic costs of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). This symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep

The review found, even following CPAP treatment, the prevalence of persistent excessive daytime sleepiness in OSA was between 12% and 65%.  The researchers relied on the most commonly reported definition of EDS, an Epworth Sleepiness Scale score of ≥11.

“I have always known that when we treat sleep apnea, we don’t fully take care of it, but I might have been a little bit surprised to see that there were four or five studies that really did show that even well-treated sleep apnea patients’ residual sleepiness was still there. That was one of the more important things, I think, that we saw,” says Stepnowsky.

In some instance the symptoms may come on slowly over time, so the OSA patient not realize that their daytime sleepiness is abnormal.

“It can be hard for the patient to have that insight, whereas the clinical team can help make that connection,” he says.

“By directing the conversation to daytime sleepiness, the clinical care team can ask questions about the patient experience to really help them to achieve their goals, whether it’s to not fall asleep at work or to become more productive or to have more energy to play with their kids or grandkids.”

Lisa Spear is associate editor of Sleep Review.

Source: Even with CPAP, the Burden of Daytime Sleepiness for Sleep Apnea Patients Can Persist