APAP machines, also known as auto CPAP machines, are medical devices that are commonly used to treat sleep apnea. These machines work by delivering an auto-adjusting flow of pressurised air through a CPAP mask that is worn over the nose or mouth during sleep. The air pressure helps to keep the airways open, preventing pauses in breathing and improving quality of sleep.
APAP Machines Explained
There are a few different types of CPAP machines that exist on the market right now. One of the most common types of CPAP machines is the Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) machine.
The main benefit of APAP machines is that they are able to detect how much pressure you need during the night and adjust automatically - giving you the most optimal pressure setting at a moment's notice.
If you are someone who suffers from sleep apnea, then you may want to consider using an APAP machine to help manage your condition.
What does APAP Stand For?
APAP stands for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure.
What does an APAP Machine do?
APAP machines have built-in mechanisms that are capable of detecting how much pressure is needed to keep your airways open. As these changes are detected, the machine will adjust automatically to help keep your apneas under control while you sleep during the night.
Who Should Use an APAP Machine?
APAP machines are suitable for most people on CPAP therapy thanks to the automatic pressure adjustments they offer. With that being said, if you suffer from one of these conditions, then you may want to consider using an APAP machine over other CPAP machine types to help treat your sleep apnea:
1. Allergies / Congestion
If you regularly suffer from allergies or a stuffy nose, then it can be hard to know what pressure setting you need to be on. APAP machines work to calculate your airflow and adjust accordingly, no matter if you are congested one night and clear the next.
2. COPD & Other Conditions
During REM sleep, the muscles of the body become paralysed to ensure we don’t move too much in our dreams and end up hurting ourselves (or our bed partner!). This also causes the muscles of the throat to relax, resulting in more severe apneas during this time.
Those with additional respiratory health conditions such as COPD will be affected even more during REM sleep. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease means your lungs are inflamed and this can obstruct the airflow to them. An APAP machine can benefit a COPD patient by monitoring the impaired airflow and adjusting the pressure settings accordingly.
3. Back Sleepers
Sleeping positions will always affect obstructive sleep apnea, especially sleeping on your back. When you fall asleep on your back, the muscles of the throat tend to relax and drag downward, which increases the chances of the airway collapsing. APAP machines adjust their pressure automatically to accommodate this change in sleeping position.
4. Fluctuations in Weight
Weight can affect how much quality sleep we get during the night and the amount of pressure we need from a CPAP machine. If your weight fluctuates regularly, or you are planning to adjust your lifestyle and eating habits, then an APAP machine will be able to provide you with the most suitable pressure given your current weight.
5. Frequent Alcohol Consumers
Those with obstructive sleep apnea may notice their condition change if they drink alcohol before they fall asleep. APAP devices can help keep the airway open even if a few drinks have been consumed before bed.
What is the Difference Between APAP and CPAP Machines?
APAP machines are capable of adjusting how much air pressure you get during the night. In general, most people find these types of machines to be easier to get used to when starting out on CPAP therapy.
Here are the pros and cons of APAP machines:
- There is no need for a new sleep assessment when you have gone through lifestyle changes to determine a new fixed pressure setting
- You can change sleeping positions during the night
- The machine will adjust automatically if you experience allergies or congestion issues
- The machine saves energy and uses less air pressure when required
- APAP devices are not suited for certain health conditions (i.e. congestive heart failure or low blood pressure)
- There can be a delay in detecting disruptions in your airway and the different pressures can cause you to wake up
- You will need to make sure your mask fits properly and you have a tight seal as the sudden changes in air pressure can cause air leaks
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are the most commonly prescribed device to treat obstructive sleep apnea. After undergoing an overnight sleep study, your sleep specialist may advise you on the most optimal fixed pressure setting to use.
Here are the pros and cons of CPAP machines:
- Guaranteed prescribed air pressure
- Not disrupted by a change in air pressure
- Does not adjust to your lifestyle changes without another sleep assessment
- Cannot adapt to different sleeping positions
- It can take more time to get used to a fixed pressure machine
How to Use Your APAP Machine
Getting started with your APAP machine is easy. Firstly, you will need to connect each of the components together. This means attaching the humidifier to the machine and the hose to the machine and the mask.
It is a good idea to make sure your CPAP mask has been properly assembled before attaching it to the hose of your machine. Once you have assembled all of the components together then you are ready to start using your APAP machine.
About CPAP Direct
At CPAP Direct, we understand that adjusting to CPAP Therapy can be quite a difficult and daunting process. Our crew are committed to making the adjustments as easy as possible by offering extensive knowledge about the products along with tips and support where needed. We have many store locations around the country as well as our online store which allows us to extend our services Australia-wide.
We have a dedicated Support Team that consists of trained clinicians who can help you with any queries regarding therapy or your equipment. There is no charge for our support services nor is there an expiration date for this support.
We have APAP Machines and apnea masks available for both purchase and hire. Hire equipment is available on a monthly basis. There are no deposits, lock-in contracts or obligation to buy once the hire is finished. If you find the hire successful and wish to purchase one of your own, we will deduct the first month's rental from the overall price.
We understand the purchasing of APAP equipment can be quite expensive which is why we offer a range of interest-free payment plans such as OpenPay, Humm (formerly Certegy Ezi-Pay), Zip Money and Afterpay.
CPAP Direct is an accredited Australian APAP Provider; all our sales receipts and invoices are recognised by Private Health insurance and allow you to claim a rebate if covered by your policy.