Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP)
Definition - What does Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) mean?
Automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) is a type of positive airway pressure (PAP) device. These devices use air delivered through a mask to maintain a positive air pressure within the wearer's throat. This stream of air keeps the person's airway open while they sleep. While some positive airway pressure devices are calibrated to deliver a steady stream of air through the wearer's air passages, the APAP is able to monitor the wearer's breathing rates and patterns and adjust the level of pressure up or down as needed.
Automatic positive airway pressure may also be referred to AutoCPAP or automatic titrating continuous positive airway pressure.
WorkplaceTesting explains Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP)
Positive airway pressure (PAP) devices are commonly used to treat sleep apnea. PAP devices work by using air to support the muscles of the throat, preventing them from collapsing. By keeping the throat open during sleep, the PAP device helps to prevent the episodes of interrupted sleep associated with obstructive sleep apnea. An automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) device monitors the wearer's breathing and recalibrates throughout the night as the needs of the wearer vary. For example, a person sleeping on his or her side may require less pressure to keep his or her airways open than a person sleeping on his or her back. Using an APAP device permits the airway to be maintained using only the amount of pressure necessary.