Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy is a treatment that is used to open the airways and improve breathing. The therapy is usually done using a machine that pumps air into a mask that the person wears while they sleep. A PAP machine is often prescribed for people who have sleep apnea, but it can also be helpful for other conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
CPAP therapy is a treatment that uses a machine to deliver pressurized air through a mask or nasal cannula to the airway. This pressure keeps the airway open and prevents interrupted breathing. PAP therapy is often very successful in treating sleep apnea, asthma and COPD.
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CPAP is the most common type of PAP therapy. It is a simple approach to supporting the airway and it is effective for many people who have sleep apnea. However, if your symptoms are not eliminated after using CPAP, your doctor may need to adjust your pressure or you may benefit from using a different type of PAP machine such as a BiLevel machine.
BiLevel machines have two different pressures; a higher pressure when breathing in and a lower pressure when breathing out. By alternating the inhalation and exhalation pressures, the BiLevel encourages the lungs to operate more efficiently. This can be helpful for people who have difficulty exhaling against a high airway pressure or who experience shortness of breath during treatment with CPAP.