What is PAP/CPAP Therapy?
Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is a general term used for all sleep apnea treatments that keep the airway open while sleeping by providing a constant stream of air through a mask. This eliminates snoring or breathing pauses during sleep and allows you to sleep through the night without waking up from a lack of oxygen.
You’ll first need a sleep study to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If your study is positive for OSA and your provider has determined PAP therapy is best for you, there are three PAP treatments:
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
- BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure)
- AutoPAP/APAP (automatic positive airway pressure)
If you need CPAP or BiPAP, you will need a titration study, which is a daytime or overnight sleep study done at our sleep center that helps us determine the level of pressure needed for your CPAP or BiPAP.
If you require an AutoPAP, there is no need for a daytime/overnight sleep study, since your machine will be set at a variable pressure–the machine adjusts the pressure automatically based on your breathing needs.
PAP therapy is a lifestyle change and it can take weeks or even months to get used to wearing it nightly, which is why it is best to work closely with your respiratory therapist to help identify the mask that best suits you. Finding the right mask is an important step in successful PAP therapy. There are several different types and styles of mask from which to choose:
- Nasal pillow mask: Small “pillows” that fit in your nostrils to create a seal
- Nasal mask: Covers your nose only
- Full Face mask: Covers your nose and mouth. This mask is the best choice if you have difficulty breathing through your nose for any reason.
The mask should be comfortable and create a seal so that air does not leak from it. If you are having issues with your mask, it’s important to communicate with your respiratory therapist or CPAP equipment supplier right away so that they can address it with you.
PAP machines are smaller and quieter than ever—they are about the size of an AM/FM bedside radio. Masks and machines with stylish looks are now available, taking beauty sleep to a new level.
Women’s 4Her masks and headgear are also available; however, manufacturers sizes are limited with this line.
You should use your PAP/CPAP every time you sleep, even while napping. Consistent PAP/CPAP use increases your quality of sleep at night, which will eliminate daytime sleepiness. It can increase memory function, daytime alertness and energy levels. It also decreases the risk of congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
PAP/CPAP are considered durable medical equipment (DME), which is prescribed by your sleep provider.
Sleep Insights conveniently offers PAP/CPAP supplies (DME) at our Rochester, Geneseo and Batavia locations and participates with the following insurances:
- Excellus BCBS (except Blue Choice Option)
PAP/CPAP supplies should be replaced every three to six months. You can easily order all your supplies from Sleep Insights by calling us at 385.6070 #4 or contact us.
Supplies that need regular replacing are:
- Filters and cushions
These are recommended guidelines for care and replacement of your supplies, as well as other relevant information:
How can I get PAP therapy?
You need to see a Sleep Insights sleep specialist to determine if you have OSA and to learn more about PAP/CPAP therapy. PAP therapy is considered durable medical equipment (DME) and is FSA/HSA eligible.