What Does Continuous Positive-Airway Pressure (CPAP) Mean?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) refers to the process of maintaining a flow of air through a person's airway to keep the airway open. Often this pressure is delivered using what is known as a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP machine or CPAP device).
The delivery of continuous air pressure to a person's airway is a method used to prevent the collapse of the airway associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). By delivering a steady stream of air throughout a person's sleep cycle, the airway is held open and breathing is eased.