Eye Symptoms with Short-term PAP Therapy
Objective: There are few studies on the effect of Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy on eye symptoms in sleep apnea patients and the conclusions of these studies are inconsistent. We evaluated by questionnaire, possible changes in eye symptoms with PAP therapy
Methods: Consecutive sleep apnea patients referred for PAP initiation were asked about their eye symptoms at baseline, four days and two months of PAP therapy. We used a Visual Analog Scale. Zero value means no symptoms, whereas a value of 100 indicates severe eye dryness or severe eye watering. During a PAP
preparation session, a sleep nurse tried to choose the most suitable mask interface for a good mask seal and to avoid eventual air leak toward the eyes.
Results: We included 46 patients (14 women) with a mean age 56.0 ± 15.9, BMI 31.7 ± 6.0, apnea and hypopnea index 34.1 ± 21.8. No significant changes in dry eye symptom values at baseline (27.5 ± 26.6) compared to four days (28.7 ± 26.0) or two months (30.0 ± 28.2) of PAP therapy were observed. Eye watering values
also showed absence of significant changes with PAP therapy. Five patients discontinued PAP therapy within two months; dry eye symptom and watering values at baseline in these patients did not differ from those who continued.
Conclusion: When assuring a good individual PAP mask interface adjustment, short-term PAP therapy did not increase eye symptoms in sleep apnea patients. Patients who discontinued PAP had the same eye symptom values as those who continued beyond two months