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PAP Therapy: Sleep Like Royalty With Best-in-Class OSA Treatment in Royal Oak, MI

Going to bed at night is a lot like going on a quest for treasure, but instead of gold coins and medallions, we’re rewarded with uninterrupted, rejuvenating sleep – which, if we’re being honest, is just as valuable. 

Unfortunately, like most treasure hunts, some people leave empty-handed.

And that’s the case for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). 

OSA is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, which can happen several hundred times per night, occur when the muscles in the throat relax too much – causing a temporary blockage of the airways. It affects roughly 40 million US adults. 

If restorative sleep is our treasure, then OSA is the dragon or villain standing in our way.

And this dragon isn’t a nice dragon. It brings about loud snoring, sudden awakenings, sleep disruptions, and the nefarious spell of daytime fatigue – casting a shadow over our humble kingdom of Royal Oak, MI. 

Of course, what type of bedtime story would this be without a knight in shining armor?

Enter positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy – the hero of our nighttime tale.

This gallant savior, armed with a mask and a machine, rides into the night (AKA our mouth) to keep the airways open – allowing us to breathe freely and without obstruction. At last, our treasure has been found!

CPAP, BiPAP, APAP: The Three Musketeers of OSA Relief

PAP therapy wouldn’t be much of a knight in shining armor if it couldn’t adapt to our unique needs and preferences. The good news is it can – in fact, patients have three different machines to choose from. 

You can think of them as the Three Musketeers…

But instead of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis

We like to call them CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP.

All three PAP machines are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, and they’re all founded on the same basic principle – using air pressure to prevent the airways from closing while we sleep. And, while they all involve wearing a mask that’s hooked up to a machine, that’s where the similarities both start and end. 

Let’s take a look at what makes these ‘Musketeers’ so similar, yet so unique at the same time. 

CPAP Device: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy is the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea. An estimated 33 million people sleep with a CPAP device today.

So, how does a CPAP device work? 

CPAP devices deliver a constant, steady stream of pressurized air into the airways to keep them open during sleep. The air pressure is set at one continuous level – whether you’re inhaling or exhaling. 

Most CPAP machines can be adjusted between 4 and 20 cmH2O – enough to open the airways, but not harm the patient. The exact number varies by patient and is determined by a sleep study or titration. 

BiPAP Device: Variable Positive Airway Pressure

BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) therapy, also known as VPAP (variable positive airway pressure), is usually reserved for patients who aren’t tolerating CPAP therapy or aren’t seeing good enough results.

So, how does a BiPAP device work? 

BiPAP devices deliver two different levels of air pressure – a higher pressure while you inhale and a lower pressure while you exhale. As a result, you won’t be fighting pressurized air everytime you go to exhale. 

Much like a CPAP device, VPAP therapy begins with a sleep study – also known as a polysomnogram. Your ENT doctor uses the results from the study to determine what pressure levels are right for you. 

APAP Device: Automatic Positive Airway Pressure

APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) therapy is the most advanced PAP machine available today. It was invented in 1996 – nearly two decades after the invention of CPAP – but has evolved over time. 

So, how do APAP devices work? 

Unlike the other two devices, APAP devices automatically adjust the air pressure during the night – based on real-time needs. In other words, it detects breathing changes and changes the pressure accordingly.

Instead of setting the inhale or exhale (or both) to a constant number, doctors can give both the inhale and exhale a range of pressures. It then uses algorithms to detect what pressure is needed and when.

The Rontal Clinic: Personalized OSA Treatment in Royal Oak

Are you frequently tired or exhausted during the day, even after getting a solid eight hours of sleep? Does your partner complain that you snore too loud? Are you constantly waking up in the middle of the night?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

The Rontal Clinic has been serving the Royal Oak, MI community for several decades. 

Our ENT clinic specializes in diagnosing and managing sleep disorders like OSA. Our team of experts uses the latest technology to understand your symptoms and provide personalized treatment options, including the Three Musketeers of PAP therapy. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.