A reader asks "I've been on a CPAP for years, but my sleep specialist is putting me on an AutoPAP. In the meantime, my DME has me on a loaner BiPAP and I feel a lot better even after one night's sleep.Also, does the difference in machines do anything in reducing long term complications"
CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, delivers a single continuous level of pressure. CPAP is usually effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. BiPAP delivers a higher pressure while breathing in, and a lower pressure while breathing out. BiPAP can be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea and is sometimes effective in treating central sleep apnea. I t can also be used to assist ventilation in various pulmonary and neurological disorders. Auto-CPAP can be used in 2 different manners: 1) to vary pressure during sleep for a person who has varying pressure requirements (for example, needing a higher pressure during REM sleep) and 2) can be used on a temporary basis to do a CPAP titration. In cases in which patients have had a CPAP titration in the sleep lab but I'm still not quite sure of the exact optimal pressure, I sometimes send them home with an auto-CPAP machine for a few nights. The machine generates a computerized printout that helps me pick the right pressure.
In OSA, the differences in the machines make no difference in reducing complications as long as the patient is compliant with treatment and receiving an effective pressure(s).