Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Therapy is a form of treatment for Sleep Apnea that uses compressed air to support the airway while the patient sleeps. A small machine draws in air from the room, and gently blows it at a pre-diagnosed pressure through a tube connected to a mask that the patient wears while they sleep. These masks can be either nasal, or full face (nasal and oral) to support the patient’s specific needs. The positive airflow acts to keep the airway open – preventing the constriction of the airway that occurs during an apnea event – allowing the patient to breathe normally for the entire duration of their sleep.
Types of PAP Therapy
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure refers to PAP therapy using a stream of compressed air at a constant therapeutic pressure. The level of therapeutic pressure for each individual patient is determined by a sleep lab professional during a sleep study. Your individual pressure is determined based on the severity of your sleep apnea, as well as the structure of your airway.
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure refers to PAP therapy that utilizes both inspiratory positive airway pressure as well as expiratory positive airway pressure. BiPAP adjusts the air pressure as you breathe in and out making it more comfortable for the patient.
Auto Titrating Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (autoPAP)
Automatically adjusts the air pressure within a set range to exactly what is needed with each breath. This is an effective sleep apnea treatment for someone who experiences rare but severe apneas.