What is CPAP Therapy
To fully understand what CPAP/APAP is, understanding the acronym is the first step:
What does CPAP do?
A machine that is used overnight to prevent airway collapse by maintaining a gentle pocket of air in the back of the throat. CPAPs cease snoring, assist in treatment of sleep apnea and provide humidified, filtered air that is also great for sinus health and allergy control.
What is CPAP meant for?
CPAP Therapy is meant for long term use as Sleep Apnea is naturally progressive. Therapy is used with a Heated Humidifier, CPAP mask and CPAP heated tube. All accessories should be replaced on an annual basis to prevent lung and oral infections due to bacterial growth. Please refer to the Harvard Study.
What's the difference between CPAP and APAP?
APAP and CPAP are Frequently used interchangeably. CPAP provides a CONSTANT FIXED PRESSURE whilst the APAP provides AUTOMATIC PRESSURES based on the machine’s algorithm, calculating the air leaks and interruptions in the airway.
Is APAP better than CPAP?
Not necessarily. Medical needs differ from person to person and APAP is not for everyone. In fact, there are many situations where patients will do worse on an APAP vs CPAP. Although an automatic algorithm is present, monitoring, titration and detailed reports are necessary to get your therapy to where it needs to be. APAP machines are NOT plug-and-play and require a set up and titration. Failure to do this may lead the machine to be left in the closet for a long time.
How do I know which machine is right for me?
Our team of therapists will guide you in what you actually need. By performing CPAP monitoring & titration, Home Sleep Testing and mask fittings, we are better able to assess and correct any issues and challenges that we may face.
What CPAP brands do we carry?
ResVent & Loewenstein CPAP machines are by far the quietest machines and most durable machines in the market.
ResMed & Fisher & Paykel are great brands that are subsidized by the Government of Ontario.
Please note: Loewenstein and ResVent are premium CPAP machines and are not covered under Ontario’s Assisted Devices government partial funding program.
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How do I know what settings and masks are right for me?
CPAP pressures needed can vary widely from person to person and are unrelated to severity of sleep apnea; It is not clear cut based on diagnosis. As an example, if there is a diagnosis of SEVERE degree of apneas, it does not mean we will need high pressures or even a full face mask. There are several variables needed to be considered.
How do I know that I need a BIPAP?
First question should be: What type of BiPAP do I need? There are Several including: BiPAP S, BiPAP ST, VAUTO (BiPAP Auto), BIPAP ASV, BiPAP ST-A (AVAPS).
The more common modes of BiPAP therapy are BiPAP S and VAUTO. These generally are started due to:
Patient intolerance to high pressures of CPAP/APAP
Uncontrolled AHI with CPAP/APAP
Continued Oxygen desaturations with CPAP
No symptomatic relief
The more advanced modes of BiPAP such as BiPAP ST, ST-A and ASV which are started due to:
ST: Uncontrolled Central Sleep Apneas with oxygen desaturations and no symptomatic relief
ST-A/ AVAPS: Obesity-Hypoventilation Syndrome
ASV: Patients with Cheyne-Stokes-Respirations, a type of breathing associated with Cardiac illness.
Important to note: In order to get a ST, ST-A or ASV BiPAP machine in Ontario through ADP, you must go through the Ventilator Pool. You may also purchase one privately with a prescription.
How to get assessed for CPAP therapy?
You will need to get a Sleep Test done either in a sleep lab or through a Home Sleep Study. Either option will allow you to get a CPAP trial and/or CPAP purchase if clinically indicated.
By far, the fastest method to obtain a CPAP would be through a Home Sleep Study as you could be set up on a trial or new machine within a week of testing if clinically indicated.
Is CPAP the only treatment for Sleep Apnea?
No! CPAP is the Golden Standard for the ongoing treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. However, there are many more choices that we assist with along the way! Getting a Home Sleep Test will allow us to see what therapy would be best suited for you based on results & lifestyle. Check out our Complete Sleep Solutions.