When it comes to positive airway pressure (PAP) machines, there isn’t a ‘one machine fits all’ model. In fact, there are three different types of machines that you can purchase. This blog post will talk about the differences between two of the most common sleep apnea machines: APAP and CPAP.
If you have recently been diagnosed with a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you may be a little confused about the different types of PAP machines that are available on the market.
Your doctor would normally prescribe you a PAP machine that will treat your sleep apnea symptoms best. So, no need to worry about having to try and figure that one out. Yet, you might still be wondering what the differences are between each machine.
Before we start discussing the differences between a CPAP and APAP machine, here’s a brief crash course on what a PAP machine is. These devices are designed to counteract the symptoms of sleep apnea by using air pressure to hold the airways open. They consist of the following parts:
Now that you know what a sleep apnea machine is comprised of, let’s dive into the most common types: APAP and CPAP machines.
Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) machines are defined by their ability to adjust air pressure automatically in order to provide the apnea patient with the amount of pressure needed to keep the patient’s airways open.
Your doctor will prescribe a minimum and maximum air pressure setting. The device will automatically determine the level of air pressure you need, between these settings, to counteract the sleep apnea events you are having during the night.
If you have varying breathing patterns, then you are a great candidate for using an APAP machine. This is because an APAP device is able to adapt to your changing breathing variations. APAP therapy is also beneficial if you experience situations such as:
One of the main benefits of this PAP machine is the fact that it has the ability to change between pressure settings. Some sleep apnea sufferers are often more sensitive to higher pressure levels. So, a variable pressure machine may mean more comfort and better sleep quality for those patients.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines have long been known as the gold standard for sleep apnea therapy. This device is a fixed pressure machine and delivers a continuous, steady level of pressurized air to the OSA patient during sleep.
Unlike the APAP machine, CPAP therapy only delivers one airway pressure level which is prescribed by your doctor upon diagnosis of your sleep apnea. Patients who have mild to moderate OSA are usually prescribed to use a CPAP machine.
If you experience any of the following conditions, you may be prescribed a CPAP machine rather than an APAP machine:
Many people who suffer from OSA have praised how beneficial using a CPAP machine has been as part of their treatment to achieve better sleep health.
While it is obvious to see the difference between both of these machines, the important thing to remember is that their purpose is to help you improve your sleep quality. While your doctor determines whether you are a CPAP vs an APAP user, you can rest assured knowing that you are getting the correct treatment for you.
Shopping for PAP machines may feel a little overwhelming but with the right prescription, you are heading in the right direction. Unsure about which APAP or CPAP machine is right for you? Get in touch with our PAP machine experts who will help you choose the right one for you.
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