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Asthma

Can CPAP cause asthma

09/03/2009

Question:

I`m 47 years of age , female and have been on CPAP since 2002. In 2004 I developed asthma. I never had any problems with my lungs before other than at night with sleep apnea. My question, can being on CPAP cause asthma or reactive airways? I did see an allergist, I have many allergies environmental, mold, trees , grass) which I assume I`ve been allergic to my whole life, why am I having issues at + 40 now, could it be my CPAP ?

Answer:

Good question and the short answer is no. In fact, treatment of sleep apnea with CPAP has been cited as a factor that may make asthma better. I consider asthma and allergies to be the same disease. What is occurring in the nose is also happening at some level in the lungs throughout your life. It just may not cause clinical symptoms. But, invariably, at some point in their lives, patients with environmental allergies may develop prolonged coughing after colds or frank asthma. The good news is that respiratory symptoms wax and wane throughout your life and are very likely to become less troublesome at some point down the road.

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Response by:

Jeff E Weiland, MD Jeff E Weiland, MD
Associate Professor - Clinical
OSU Asthma Center
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University