CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is a machine that delivers a steady flow of air to ensure the airway stays open. It is a commonly prescribed device for those with sleep apnea to improve sleep quality.
It works by taking in air from the room, filtering and pressurizing it, and delivering it through a mask. The air keeps the tongue, uvula, and soft palate from interfering with breathing. There are several types of CPAP machines and individuals should work with their providers to understand which one is right for them.
CPAP machines must be prescribed by a provider. A certified sleep specialist will perform a sleep study, either at a sleep center or with an at-home test. The results will help the provider understand a patient’s sleep schedule and diagnose a sleep condition that may lead to the recommendation of a CPAP machine.