Don’t forget to ask about CPAP usage

August 20, 2020

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Hey, hope everybody’s doing well, staying safe, and all whatnot.

More from Chief Optometric Editor Ben Casella, OD, FAAO

Had an interesting case come in a few days ago. I had seen this person a month ago as another opinion for recurrent corneal erosion, asked him everything that had been done to attempt to treat it just so I didn't repeat any of that. And I ended up putting him in an Acuvue Oasys (Johnson & Johnson Vision) bandage contact lens for 2 weeks, saw him a week out, and then saw him another week out, and lubricated as I took the contact lens out. He was fine ever since.

Related: Explore the relationship between dry eye and sleep

He came in a few days ago said, “My eyes are just red and they’re real irritated.” I said, “Well, have you had any changes or anything?” And he said, “No, but you know, I still get that CPAP thing blowing all over my face at night.”

That’s what we call a variable in science.

Related: How sleep apnea affects the eye

And so I sent him to hopefully get his CPAP adjusted so that it actually blows down into his lungs and not all over his face. And that is a very important question to ask about, Do you sleep with a CPAP, especially along the lines of ocular surface disease, it can really lurk as a variable, and it can make you feel like what you’re doing is not is not really effecting change. You can go from over-the-counter tears to things such as steroid drops and whatnot, and those all have their place. Don’t get me wrong, but if it’s an easy fix, like adjusting a person’s CPAP machine, then you’ve helped out and you’ve saved them a trip to the pharmacy.

Related: Sleep apnea: More than a snore and floppy eyelids

CPAPs. Important to ask about.

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