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What is a CPAP machine?

Sleep apnea treatment Aug, 10 2023

Why the device plays a key role in OSA treatment

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is used to treat people experiencing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and excessive snoring.1

The CPAP machine is a motorized medical device that plays a key role in treating OSA symptoms. It generates air pressure that is delivered to your airway via tubing and a mask interface. This flow of air helps to prevent the airway from collapsing as you sleep.2

Without this pressurized air, people with OSA can stop breathing numerous times when they sleep as their airways become blocked.

What are the different types of PAP machines?

Alongside CPAP, there are two similar machines – auto-titrating positive airway pressure (APAP) and bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP). The main difference with these devices is how the air is delivered.
  • CPAP delivers a continuous flow of air at a set pressure level.1
  • APAP adjusts the air pressure throughout the night to meet the fluctuating breathing needs of the therapy user.1
  • BiPAP delivers two different air pressures - one is set for inhaling and the other for exhaling.1

What's the difference between a CPAP machine and a ventilator?

A ventilator does the work of breathing when a patient’s diaphragm and muscles are unable to do so by moving air in and out of the lungs. CPAP delivers a continuous stream of pressurized air and does no work of breathing for therapy users.
See also, What is the difference between CPAP and APAP? and What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP?
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