At Advanced Homecare PAP therapy is our specialty. When you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will almost always be prescribed PAP therapy. There are several types of PAP machines, depending on the settings your doctor has prescribed. Here are the most common:


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is the most common type, and delivers a steady flow of your prescribed pressure. When breathing on a CPAP, the air pressure is the same whether inhaling or exhaling. This positive air pressure acts like pillars in a tunnel, keeping your airway open during the night. A CPAP can be set to any single pressure between 4cm/H2O and 20cm/H2O.


Automatic Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is often referred to as an Auto CPAP. This type of therapy is set with a specific range of pressures. The machine will generally blow the lowest pressure programmed until it starts sensing apnea events. At that point the pressure will rise in strength until normal breathing resumes. APAP machines can be set with a range of pressures from 4cm/H2O to 20cm/H2O, and anywhere in between.


A BiLevel CPAP Machine is commonly known as a BIPAP, or a VPAP. These machines use two different pressures, one for inhales and another for exhales. These are generally used when CPAP has failed as a treatment for sleep apnea, and/or when higher pressures are necessary to eliminate apnea episodes. The purpose is to give the patient some relief during exhales, when pressures are high. BiLevel machines can set with two pressures between 4cm/H2O and 20cm/H2O, with some machines going as high as 25cm/H2O.


Adaptive Servo Ventilation is a non-invasive ventilatory treatment option created specifically for the treatment of adults who have central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, and/or Cheynes-Stokes respiration. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea where an obstruction blocks the airway, central sleep apnea occurs because your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. The main difference is that the ASV provides support to regular breathing, using an algorithm to detect significant reductions or pauses in breathing. The machine then intervenes by providing just enough support to maintain the patient’s breathing at 90% of what had been normal prior to the decreased breathing.


The BiLevel ST is a variation of BiLevel that is often used for patients with central or complex sleep apnea, heart palpitations, or ALS. It is like a ventilator in that it will initiate a breath for the patient.  Once prescribed an Advanced Homecare clinician will set you up with the equipment and knowledge you will need to succeed on PAP therapy. Our set ups are done one on one, with a focus on patient success.

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