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CPAP Machine Basics

How Does a PAP Device Work

If you're new to using CPAP equipment, you may have a lot of questions. At 1st America Home Medical Equipment, our goal is to help you learn more about how your CPAP equipment works, how to clean your equipment and what equipment might be right for you. If you're curious to learn more about how a PAP device works to help you breathe at night and treat obstructive sleep apnea, please watch the video below. 

Types of PAP Devices

Part of effective sleep apnea therapy is finding the right PAP device for the way you sleep. Below, you can learn more about most common devices - CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP machines. Your doctor will be able to tell you which machine is the right choice for you. 

CPAP Devices

CPAP is an acronym for "Continuous Positive Airway Pressure." CPAP devices are the most common types of PAP device. CPAP devices are set to a prescribed pressure setting, and when the device is turned on, air will blow to your mask from the machine at that pressure level. The pressure level stays the same the entire time the mask is turned on, whether you are inhaling or exhaling. CPAP devices are the most commonly prescribed type of PAP device because the constant air pressure is an effective treatment to keep your airway from collapsing, which is the main cause of obstructive sleep apnea. 

APAP Devices

APAP stands for "Automated Positive Airway Pressure," which is why APAP devices are called "Auto PAPs." Unlike CPAP machines, which blow air at the same constant pressure level, APAP devices can automatically adjust their pressure level. For example, if the device detects more resistance while turned on, it will automatically increase the pressure level to accommodate the higher resistance. In order for this machine to work effectively, it's important to have a mask that is properly fitted to your face, because the pressure level is measured at the mask and not in the airway.

BiPAP Devices

A BiPAP device is a Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure system. This machine can automatically adjust the pressure level to two different levels - A higher level for when you inhale, and a lower level for when you exhale. BiPAP machines are an excellent choice for patients who require a high pressure level, because it can automatically make adjustments. When you're breathing in, you can have your pressure set to its higher setting, and then the machine will automatically reduce the pressure when you're about to exhale to make it easier for you to breathe out. 

Cleaning Your CPAP Equipment

We've prepared a CPAP cleaning guide that can help you understand when and how to clean your CPAP equipment. Click the button below to learn more. 

Cleaning Guide

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