CPAP therapy makes patients look better, study says

Monday, September 16, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – For people suffering from sleep apnea, sticking with CPAP treatment can yield a nice fringe benefit—a more alert, youthful and attractive appearance, according to a new study published Sept. 13. As part of small study, researchers at the University of Michigan employed a face-mapping technique on 20 middle-aged sleep apnea patients within a few months of the start of CPAP use to compare before and after photographs. “The common lore, that people ‘look sleepy’ because they are sleepy, and that they have puffy eyes with dark circles under them, drives people to spend untold dollars on home remedies,” said lead researcher Ronald Chervin, a professor at the University of Michigan. “We perceived that our CPAP patients often looked better or reported that they’d been told they looked better after treatment. But no one has ever actually studied this.” Facial mapping found less puffiness in the foreheads and less redness in the face of patients who used CPAP therapy. Researchers also perceived fewer forehead wrinkles. They were surprised, however, to see no improvement in dark circles or undereye puffiness.