Heated humidification during nasal continuous positive airway pressure for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: objective evaluation of efficacy with nasal peak inspiratory flow measurements

Am J Rhinol. 2002 May-Jun;16(3):175-7.


Background: Nasal obstruction is one of the most frequent and sometimes troublesome side effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) therapy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).

Methods: We describe a 60-year-old man with allergic seasonal rhinitis and OSAS, with worsening nasal symptoms 1 week after beginning home nCPAP, making nCPAP use difficult (nasal peak inspiratory flow [nPIF], 80 L/minute [57% of his best]).

Results: No significant improvement was obtained with topical steroids or cold humidification. Heated humidification was then considered, achieving an improvement in mean nPIF and symptom scores. An acceptable compliance with CPAP could be obtained during the heated humidification period (3.9 hours of mean daily use).

Conclusion: In this patient with moderately severe OSAS and allergic rhinitis, monitoring nasal symptoms and nasal PIF objectively showed the benefit of heated humidification to overcome nasal intolerance and increase compliance to nCPAP treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / complications*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome