CPAP and Sleep Apnea Education Center

A History of CPAP Therapy

During research for this article, I found a very informative article in the newsletter, Resmedica, provided by ResMed, one of the leading CPAP manufacturers.  The editor, Alison Hansford leads the reader on a journey over the history of CPAP therapy in the last 30 years, but informs that obstructive sleep apnea has been documented for almost 2000 years.  She states that in the late 19th century, it was referred to as, “Pickwickian syndrome” and then, almost as much as now, the obesity of the patient was focused on, rather than the potential breathing disorder the patient may have.  It’s funny that now, we know you do not have to be obese to have sleep disordered breathing.  By the 1960’s, we started to become aware that obesity may be a factor, but it was certainly not the only factor related to OSA, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and congestive heart failure.

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