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Connection between APAP & Central Sleep Apnea

In this article, I will give information on how APAP is used to treat Central Sleep Apnea i.e. the connection between APAP and Central Sleep Apnea.

APAP or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure is a more advanced form of CPAP i.e. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. One of the best treatments for central sleep apnea is APAP therapy.

What is APAP Therapy?

As the name suggests, APAP therapy involves the pumping of pressurized air into a person’s air passageway thru a hose by use of an APAP machine. While the principle is similar to CPAP, it differs from it because of the in-built software which makes it more advanced than CPAP.

An APAP machine will use software to automatically record details about your breathing such as:

  • Number of apneas throughout the night &
  • Number of apneas for a specific pressure setting

Depending on the above information, it will automatically change the pressure setting continuously to match the needs and requirements of your body. This not only increases the efficiency of the therapy, it will also increase your comfort level which is the major negative of CPAP therapy.

Advantages of APAP Therapy

The major advantages of APAP therapy are:

  • Efficacy of Therapy: First and foremost, since this device automatically adjusts its pressure settings according to your needs, the overall therapy and benefits which you receive are more when compared to other treatments such as CPAP or Bi-PAP. Thus even if you have central sleep apnea, APAP therapy will effectively neutralize it and allow you to breathe freely and consistently throughout the night.
  • Comfort: The second major advantage is that this machine will use a higher pressure while you breathe in and a lower pressure setting when you exhale. Thus it will be easier for you to breathe out, this will increase your comfort level with the therapy (this was the major drawback of CPAP, where the same high pressure setting when you exhaled made it very difficult to breathe out).

Connection between APAP and Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea and APAP Therapy

In central sleep apnea, your brain will fail to send the signals required by the muscles in your respiratory tract for respiration. Thus you will stop breathing multiple times during a single night (because your air tract will close up).

APAP therapy will keep your airway open by using pressurized air; thus allowing for smooth and free flow or oxygen. Studies have shown that APAP therapy is much more effective in treating central sleep apnea than other methods. While APAP therapy is more costly that CPAP therapy, the advantages you will gain are worth spending the extra money. So if you have central sleep apnea, try APAP therapy or ask your doctor about APAP therapy.