Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, therapy was first introduced in the early 1980s and has since become the primary treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by those in the professional sleep medicine community.
With CPAP therapy, a small bedside CPAP machine delivers a prescribed amount of air pressure through a comfortable nasal mask that is worn during sleep. This continuous flow of air keeps the upper airway open and prevents snoring and apnea from occurring.
As technology has advanced, CPAP machines have become smaller, quieter, and more sensitive. They can detect changes in breathing patterns that occur due to neurological causes, as with central sleep apnea. CPAP machines offer a variety of styles, functions, and portability options, as well as data storage features, climate control for optimal humidification, and airflow delivery systems.
Fixed Pressure CPAP Machines
A fixed pressure CPAP machine provides a continuous level of air pressure throughout the night.
Auto CPAP Machines
As the name implies, an auto CPAP machine automatically adjusts the amount of airflow throughout the night according to the needs of the person. When changes to your normal breathing pattern are detected, an auto CPAP machine calculates the amount of pressure that is needed to keep the airway open, preventing the collapse of the airway and minimizing sleep disruptions.
BiPAP machines have two pressure settings: IPAP and EPAP. IPAP refers to the higher inhaled pressure while EPAP refers to the lowered expiratory pressure.
CPAP therapy is the most popular and effective treatment for sleep apnea. Patients can experience benefits within a very short time. All sleep apnea treatments help to manage symptoms and do not cure the condition. When CPAP therapy is discontinued, sleep apnea symptoms return immediately.