Autotitrating Positive-Airway Pressure (APAP)

Last Updated: January 7, 2019

Definition - What does Autotitrating Positive-Airway Pressure (APAP) mean?

Autotitrating positive-airway pressure (APAP) refers to a positive-airway-pressure device that adjusts automatically in response to changes in a user's breathing patterns.

Positive airway pressure (PAP) devices are used in the treatment of sleep apnea. Some of these devices are set at a single pre-determined pressure level while others are capable of adjusting the air pressure delivered to the patient. The process of adjusting the air-pressure levels of the PAP machine is called titrating. Therefore, an autotitrating positive airway pressure device is one that will automatically alter the delivered air pressure in response to feedback. An autotitrating PAP or APAP, may also be called an auto adjusting PAP device.

WorkplaceTesting explains Autotitrating Positive-Airway Pressure (APAP)

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which a person's upper airway or throat muscles relax while he or she is sleeping, causing the airway to close. A positive airway pressure device is used to force positive air pressure through the airway of the sleeping individual, thus keeping the passage open and air flowing.

An APAP machine receives data through the mask worn by the sleeping user. Not only is this data used by the device to make moment by moment adjustments to the person's airflow, but it can also be used to track the effectiveness of the therapy. Often, this data can be reviewed remotely by an individual's treating physician or sleep technicians, allowing them to make adjustments or evaluate treatment options.

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