Understanding the Benefits and Drawbacks of APAP 

Sleep is critical to one’s well-being and health. It is critical to get enough sleep in order to protect both your mental and physical functioning. When a patient does not get enough sleep, it can be detrimental over time. Sleep deprivation can lead to chronic diseases such as stroke, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. It may also increase the likelihood of obesity.

What Exactly Is APAP?

APAP is an abbreviation for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure. It is one of the three main kinds of positive airway pressure that opens the airway while sleeping. A mask attaches the APAP to a pressure generator.

To use an analogy, APAP works by using air pressure to act as a splint. It prevents the throat from disintegrating in on itself, enabling your patient to breathe openly throughout the night and avoid sleep apnea episodes.

A large percentage of machines use a preset pressure that is ascertained during a sleep centre titration study.

What Are the Two Settings on the APAP?

There are two settings on the APAP: One has low pressure, while the other has high pressure. These multiple pressures enable the device to automatically modify to your patient’s differing pressure requirements throughout the night as they start changing sleeping positions or progress through their numerous sleep stages.

The APAP automatically adjusts to enable normal breathing while sleeping. When a person has obstructive apnea, the APAP puts more pressure, just enough to restore normal breathing. The machine’s air pressure rises and falls throughout the night as required to keep the airway open.

Why Should You Use APAP?

According to research, all kinds of positive airway pressure may work fairly well in assisting you to sleep normally. Standard CPAPs have a long history and are the most commonly used. They are also less complicated and less costly than the other machines.

Some insurance companies may require you to start with CPAP and then progress to APAP if you don’t get comfortable.

If you prefer your airflow to vary during your sleep to meet your needs, an APAP may be a better option for you. Some reasons include the following:

  • Have frequent allergies or a stuffy nose
  • Are deep sleeper
  • Drink alcohol near bedtime
  • Frequently lose or gain weight 

Individuals who try APAP report mildly better quality of life and less daytime sleepiness when compared to CPAP users.

Benefits of APAP

Here are the following benefits of APAP:

  • Adapts Pressure for Various Positions. Individuals can alter sleeping positions and obtain the amount of pressure they require since the pressure can adjust throughout the night.
  • Two Distinct Modes Rolled Into One. Continuous mode (CPAP) and auto-adjusting mode are available on APAP machines. This enables patients to experiment with both APAP and CPAP without having to switch devices.
  • Convenience and Comfort. In lighter stages of sleep, individuals typically need less pressure, but APAP only conveys higher pressure when apnea events happen. Those who use APAP frequently report a more pleasant night’s sleep since they are only getting the pressure they require.
  • Conforms to Changing Situations and Lifestyles. If a person loses weight or develops allergies that trigger congestion, their APAP pressure setting does not need to be adapted by their doctor since it will conform to their evolving requirements.

The Drawbacks of APAP

Although APAP has many advantages, there are a few disadvantages to consider. 

  • Cost. These devices are sophisticated pieces of equipment. As a result, they are more expensive than CPAP, and some insurance does not cover them.
  • Adjustments Can Take Time. When the device adapts, it may be a little slow to make modifications, which can cause sleep disruptions. Sleep quality may suffer if the machine makes a few disturbing changes throughout the night.
  • APAP Should Not Be Used By Patients With Certain Medical Conditions. This therapy is not suitable for individuals who have chronic heart problems or obesity hypoventilation syndrome.

Moreover, the algorithms used by APAPs to adjust pressures differ from one manufacturer to the next. Because APAP machines are not as streamlined as CPAP machines, this may make prescribing the best machine for you more difficult. Nevertheless, an experienced sleep technician who is familiar with the various machines can assist you in making the best choice possible.

Take Away

Your patients must get enough sleep at the appropriate times in order to perform well throughout the day. When people are sleep deprived, they are less productive. They finish tasks much slower than usual, make more errors, and have slower reaction periods. Even if a person only misses a few hours of sleep per night, their ability to perform suffers as if they haven’t slept for a day or two. It is critical to have all of the facts before administering APAP.