For adults, the most effective treatment for eliminating or reducing sleep apnea is a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine. By working to normalize your breathing, this machine helps you get a good night’s sleep and be more productive during the day.
The physician decides which type of machine to use and the pressure level required to keep the upper airways open:
- A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine delivers a constant level of inspiratory pressure. This is the most common method. All machines can operate in continuous mode (e.g. 10 cm H2O).
An automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) machine delivers a variable level of inspiratory pressure (e.g. 4-20 cm H2O). Accordingly, in the event of apnea, the machine increases the pressure (without ever exceeding 20 cm H20), and, in the absence of respiratory events, the pressure decreases (to a minimum of 4 cm H20).
- A bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine delivers two constant levels of pressure: inspiratory (e.g. 16 cm H20) and expiratory (e.g. 8 cm H2O)
- An adaptive servo-ventilator (ASV) delivers a variable level of inspiratory pressure (e.g. 4-16 cm H2O) and a constant level of expiratory pressure (e.g. 8 cm H2O). This machine is designed to treat more complex sleep apneas.
If you have any questions about how to use your machine, consult our Flyer, Leaflet and Guides section.