All PAP devices work on a similar principle: To deliver a prescribed air pressure into a patient’s airways that acts as a splint by keeping the airways from collapsing.
The air delivered is just enough to push past any potential obstructions while maintaining a level of air flow that feels as close to natural breathing as possible.
APAP stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure and is similar in function and design to the more traditional PAP device.
Auto titration machines will ‘self-adjust’ to deliver the least amount of pressure required to keep the airway open, or ‘patent’.
An APAP device is set using a maximum and minimum pressure ‘window’. The machine will operate within these given parameters using an algorithm to deliver the least amount of pressure needed with any given breath.
CPAP machines can only be set to a single pressure that remains throughout the entire night. For some with a higher-prescribed pressure setting, the constant singular pressure might make makes it difficult to exhale against.
Most PAP machines offer a ramp feature that starts off with a reduced pressure setting and gradually builds to your prescribed pressure.