Understand the Difference Between the 3 Major Types of CPAP Machines for Treating Sleep Apnea
When getting to grips with your obstructive sleep apnea treatment using CPAP, often. there are literally scores of machines from which you may choose. Luckily, the most difficult decision is reached via your doctor and provided inside your prescription. It is beneficial to know what your doctor has selected for you and why. Start by checking your prescription and take a look at the explanations of every type below:
CPAP. First the acronym: CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. In your basic CPAP machine, air flows at a continuous and constant pressure while it is operational. These are the original mainstream machines for the treatment of apnea and continue to be the most given by doctors, possibly because of their simplicity and proven track record. These types of CPAP machines stand out from the others as the pressure setting is held constant. The other machines have pressure settings that fluctuate within a range prescribed from your doctor. As a consequence, CPAP type machines are simple, reliable, and predictable in their effectiveness. However, at higher pressures the constant pressure could be overwhelming while you exhale. CPAP Machines
Auto CPAP. These machines are capable of adjusting pressure delivery ‘on the fly’, with each and every breath. APAP machines are near and dear to me as I am currently using one. Your doctor programs the device making use of a pressure range and then the machine ‘floats’ throughout that range continuously during the time you sleep. I originally had a CPAP machine – where pressure is at a constant set value – and didn’t really notice any difficulties with it. So, I had become skeptical and thought the APAP was somewhat gimmicky when my doctor suggested it. However, I’ve been impressed with its performance and utility since I started utilizing it – the variable pressure helps me sleep better by getting me through apnea ‘rough patches’. The data output on my unit tells me my average pressure for the previous night, week, and month so I could determine if my pressure setting remains valid.
Often I’ve had the opportunity to use this feedback to self-diagnose problems say for example a poor night’s sleep, a leaky mask, or when I’ve been delaying cleaning the mask and unit (mask fit gets poorer when regular cleaning doesn’t happen – I know… I could just hear my doctor rolling his eyes!). I am currently using a PR System One REMStar 60 Series Auto CPAP Machine along with a heated humidifier. This machine is very popular today because it can be used as an APAP as well as a more traditional CPAP. Your prescription might also make reference to this kind of machine as APAP, Auto (self-adjusting) Positive Airway Pressure, AutoPAP, AutoSet, and Auto Adjusting CPAP.
BiPAP. Also identified as VPAP or BiLevel machines, these vary from CPAP and APAP machines for the reason that they’ve got a higher pressure setting on the inhale and then a lower pressure setting on the exhale. This variation of a CPAP is typically prescribed as a non-invasive ventilator device and is usually meant to treat more difficult sleep-disordered breathing. These units – also known as BiPAP SV, BiPAP ST, and BiPAP AVAPS – have more detailed algorithms for responding to patient breathing patterns. Your doctor may have you try a BiPAP When response to CPAP and APAP was not very successful.