PAP Therapy

Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the frontline treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This form of therapy requires nightly use of a PAP device which is an electrical device, small enough to sit on a nightstand, that connects through flexible tubing to a mask worn by the patient.

The PAP device takes in air from the room, lightly pressurizes it, and then delivers a constant stream of pressurized air to the patient through the mask. The pressurized air serves to keep the airway passages open during sleep, thus eliminating snoring and the pauses in breathing caused by sleep apnea. With use of the PAP device, breathing becomes regular, snoring stops, the patient is not awakened by lack of oxygen, and restful sleep is restored.

There are many types of masks used with the PAP device. Some cover both the nose and mouth; others cover only the nose. Alternatively, "nasal pillows" which fit in the nostrils may be selected. No matter what type of mask is used, it is important that it fits well and makes a good seal to prevent air leaks and maintain the right level of air pressure.

To determine the right level of air pressure, a titration polysomnography is generally conducted in the sleep center. Proper titration of the devices requires identification of the minimum level of air pressure to abolish obstructive apneas and/or hypopneas, oxyhemoglobin desaturation, respiratory effort–related arousals, and snoring in all sleep stages.

Most PAP units also come with a timed pressure “ramp” setting. This starts the airflow at a very low level, so that the patient can fall asleep comfortably. The setting then slowly raises the pressure until it reaches the right level to alleviate the sleep apnea.

For patients prescribed PAP therapy, Sleep Centers of Texas provides the PAP device and related accessories and supplies such as masks, hoses, and filters. With ongoing use of the PAP device, patients will periodically need replacement supplies for which Sleep Centers of Texas offers a program through which patients may purchase these supplies.

Contact Us

Sleep Centers of Texas
7839 Interstate 10 West
San Antonio,TX 78230-4779

Phone: 210.520.8333
Fax: 210.520.8335

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