• Obstructive sleep apnea;
  • continuous positive airway pressure;
  • nasal surgery;
  • septoplasty


Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the standard therapy for sleep apnea; however, compliance rates are historically poor. Among the most commonly cited reasons for nonadherence is nasal obstruction. Our study sought to examine if nasal surgery actually increases CPAP compliance.

Study Design

Prospective case series.


Nasal CPAP-intolerant obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients, with documented nasal obstruction, underwent septoplasty plus inferior turbinoplasty. Preoperative and postoperative data were collected on CPAP usage per night and subjective nasal obstruction with the Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) Scale questionnaire.


Eighteen patients met inclusion criteria and underwent septoplasty. CPAP usage increased significantly from 0.5 hours per night preoperatively to 5 hours per night postoperatively (P < .05). Subjective nasal obstruction on the NOSE Scale decreased from 16.1 preoperatively to 5.4 following surgical intervention (P < .05). CPAP pressure decreased from 11.9 preoperatively to 9.2 after surgery, with a trend toward signifiance (P = .062).


This study demonstrates improved CPAP compliance rates following septoplasty in OSA patients with nasal obstruction. Correction of nasal obstruction should be offered in nasal CPAP-intolerant individuals to improve CPAP compliance.

Level of Evidence

3b Laryngoscope, 124:317–319, 2014