CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy is the most commonly recommended, and the most effective, treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy provides a constant airflow which keeps the airway open so uninterrupted breathing is maintained during sleep. The air stream eliminates Sleep Apnea events and allows the person to get a restful sleep.
The only care a CPAP, APAP or BiPAP machine requires is to clean or change the filters at the air intake. This keeps the internal parts from accumulating dust. Fine paper filters should be changed out every 30 days, or when they appear soiled. Foam washable filters should be rinsed with clear running water once a week, allowed to air dry, and reinserted.
A BiPAP machine (also referred to as BiLevel or VPAP) delivers two separate and distinct pressures. A higher pressure is need for inhalation, while a lower pressure is needed for exhalation. The machine alternates between the two pressures which are set per the doctor’s order or prescription. A prescription for a CPAP machine may not be used to purchase a BiPAP machine.
An APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) machine automatically adjusts on a Breath by Breath basis to blow the Minimum Pressure needed to keep your airway open during sleep. This allows your machine to provide you with your ideal pressure nightly.
APAPs tend to be more advanced than CPAPs in that they normally offer more therapy tracking information and more comfort features.
Data capable machines track your therapy progress and performance over time. Therapy data can be used to spot issues and used to see how changes to your CPAP setup effects your overall treatment. You and your doctor can use the therapy information to make changes in your setup. Some changes might include altering the mask or fit or increasing or decreasing your pressure to see if your therapy performance improves to ensure you are getting effective treatment.
The data capable machines not only let you know how many hours the machine was used, like pure compliance tracking machines, but also tracks advanced information such as AHI, leak rate, and average pressure (if using an APAP).
We provide our customers with many tools to make informed decisions about their machine purchases. Call our specialists at 601.482.4003.