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FAST FACTS: THE ABCS OF POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE

APAP

  • Stands for “automatic positive airway pressure”
  • Delivers 1 single stream of pressurized air; however it delivers this stream inside a preset range of pressures as predetermined by the physician
  • Also referred to as Auto-CPAP
  • APAP is commonly prescribed
  • APAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

BiPAP

  • Stands for “bilevel positive airway pressure”
  • Delivers 2 streams of pressurized air: the higher pressure delivered is for the user’s inhalation, while a lighter pressure is delivered to the user during exhalation
  • Also referred to as BPAP
  • BiPAP is expensive and, therefore, less commonly prescribed
  • BiPAP is used mainly to treat central sleep apnea (CA) or complex sleep apnea (CSA), though it may be used for pressure-sensitive patients with OSA

CPAP

  • Stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”
  • Delivers 1 single stream of pressurized air
  • CPAP is the most common prescription for PAP
  • CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea

ASV

  • Stands for “adaptive servo ventilation”
  • Delivers air pressure based on sophisticated algorithms meant to match the complex breathing needs of its user
  • ASV is very expensive and prescribed for very special needs patients
  • ASV is used to treat complex sleep breathing disorders that occur in addition to other chronic medical problems
Further Reading

News & Updates

What is a Split Night Sleep Study and why would I need one?

When you are scheduled to undergo a sleep study, you may not realize that there is more than one kind of sleep study. Aside from the home sleep apnea test (HSAT)which you may have already experienced there are three main in-lab, overnight sleep tests you might encounter. Many people start with an overnight or nocturnal…

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Sleep Apnea Raises Your Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death: Get the Facts

You may have heard of sleep apnea, but do you really know what it is? Far from a harmless sleep disorder that keeps you from a sound night’s rest, sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including sudden cardiac death. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.…

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Tips for Cleaning Your CPAP Machine

Every day you take great pains to ensure that you’re wearing clean socks and underwear for hygienic purposes. This ingrained standard of care is the type of thing you should be doing when it comes to your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. Just think, you spend a fair number of hours every night with…

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