Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a breathing device that keeps your airway open and prevents it from collapsing and causing an obstruction. The machine blows pressurized air into your nose or mouth via a tube and mask that is held onto your face with straps. CPAP keeps your airway open by inflating it like a balloon. CPAP machines are typically the size of a shoebox and need electricity.

CPAP can be a very good treatment if you choose this therapy. There are many variables that can be adjusted to improve fit of the mask, comfort and temperature of the air blowing into your throat. The major clinical challenges for successful CPAP treatment, however, are patient acceptance and utilization.1

1. Kushida CA; Littner MR; Hirshkowitz M et al. Practice parameters for the use of continuous and bi-level positive airway pressure devices to treat adult patients with sleep-related breathing disorders. SLEEP 2006;29(3):375-380.