The most common treatment, and the treatment that is widely accepted as the most effective for OSA, is CPAP (pronounced “See-pap”). CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. As the name implies, the CPAP device uses a blower to deliver a constant level of air pressure through a hose that attaches to the nose. This air pressure travels down the nose to the throat to prevent obstruction. In effect, the extra air acts like a splint to hold the airway open and allow for normal breathing. The amount of air pressure can be adjusted according to the severity of OSA and other personal factors.
For those who have difficulty breathing out against the CPAP pressure, an alternative is BiLevel PAP. BiLevel PAP allows for the pressure that the client exhales against to be lowered, which improves comfort while maintaining enough pressure to keep the airway open.
Click here for a list of sleep equipment available from Apria.