Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in the throat so that the airways do not collapse when a person breathes in. The machine will have one of the following: a mask that covers your nose and mouth; a mask that covers your nose only-called nasal continuous positive airway pressure or NCPAP; and prongs that fit into your nose. CPAP is the most effective nonsurgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is also the treatment of choice for people who have coronary artery disease or heart failure.
The American Lung Associationâ??s Asthma Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs) are recruiting asthma patients for a study to examine whether the use of CPAP, which keeps airways open during sleep, makes airways more relaxed and thus improves asthma symptoms. With the CPAP therapy, clean, humidified air is blown into the lungs in order to prevent airways from collapsing. Therefore, the chest and lungs are more expanded helping patients to breathe easier. â??If CPAP is found to be effective, this will introduce an entirely new way to treat asthma without medication,â?? Robert Wise, MD, director of the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers Network, was quoted as saying. â??If we can reduce the number of inhalers and frequency of inhaled rescue medication with this new treatment, it will not only relieve the burden of asthma but improve their quality of life as well.â?? The CPAP clinical trial is currently enrolling non-smokers between the ages of 15 to 60 with history of asthma. Nineteen centers across the U.S. are still recruiting, including: University of Arizona at Tucson, University of California, San Diego, National Jewish Health (Colorado), Nemours Children Clinic (Florida), University of Miami, University of South Florida (Tampa, FL), Illinois Consortium: Northwestern University, St. Vincentâ??s Health (Indiana), LSU Health Science Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine (Missouri), New York Medical College, New York City Consortium, North Shore-LIJ Medical Center (NY), Duke University Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Baylor College of Medicine (Texas), Northern New England Consortium (Vermont), and University of Virginia.