FAST FACTS: The difference between APAP and CPAP

If you are diagnosed with a pretty straightforward case of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you may be prescribed positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy for treatment. Those who qualify for CPAP therapy may often qualify for APAP. What is the difference between the two treatments?


CPAP: As its name suggests, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) delivers pressurized air at a constant stream. This constant stream helps keep the upper airway open during both inhalation and exhalation. You can think of the air pressure in CPAP as being constant.

APAP: On the other hand, automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) delivers a preset range of air pressure which closely matches your breathing pattern, which has a wave-like motion. You can think of the air pressure in APAP as adjustable to the range of your breathing.

Both types of PAP therapy are effective in preventing apneas. You may start on or switch to either device based on your sleep specialist's recommendation or as a matter of preference (if APAP is more comfortable for you, for instance, then you are more likely to use it). 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Parasomnia: 5 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know

If you walk, talk, eat, or even drive while you’re asleep, you’re experiencing a parasomnia. Here are five facts about parasomnia, along with advice on what to do if you engage in unusual behavior while you sleep.

How Sleep Problems Increase with Age

As you age, you may have more trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting enough sleep to feel refreshed. It’s normal for age to affect sleep, but there are steps you can take to get the rest you need.

Can Melatonin Really Help You Sleep?

If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may think of taking melatonin supplements. But do they really help with sleep? For some people, the answer is yes.