You have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or OSA and then they hit you with a bunch of words you have never heard before. They start talking about machines and mask and humidity. You are told this is long term therapy. What they do not explain is what the machine does, what types of therapy are you eligible for and what will be the best type of therapy for you.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It is the most common therapy used for the treatment of OSA. It is one continuous pressure that supports the airway. This pressure was determined during the second sleep study, called the titration study. On some occasions the titration is able to be done on the same night as the diagnostic study.

During the titration the technician will slowly increase the pressure until the breathing issues, snoring and airway resistance is eliminated or reduced to within normal levels. In order for the insurance company to pay for the machine you must have at least 5 respiratory events an hour with some type of co-morbitity such as hypertension, or excessive daytime sleepiness. Once the respiratory events increases to 15 events or higher a co-morbidity is no longer needed bipap.

APAP or AutoPAP is a self titrating therapy that is used for people who may need higher pressures part of the night such as when they are in REM, the stage of sleep where they dream or when they sleep on their back. This allows the pressure to remain low until the higher pressure is needed. This therapy is also used when the patient does not wish to come back for the second sleep study. Many insurance companies do not wish to pay for Autopap because it is more expensive and it is not set to specific settings.