What is Auto-CPAP Therapy?

What is Auto-CPAP Therapy?

Most people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea hear the term CPAP and start doing their research. Quickly, they might run into the term Auto-CPAP therapy (Auto-CPAP). So what does it mean?

Auto-CPAP is the abbreviation of automatic positive airway pressure, which is one of the three main forms of positive airway pressure, or PAP therapy. There are three forms of positive airway pressure therapy

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Automatic positive airway pressure (Auto-CPAP)
  • Bilevel, or variable positive airway pressure (Bi-PAP)

All of these PAP therapies take the form of a machine which is connected to a mask by a tube. The mask works as you sleep to help keep your airways open.

The main difference between Auto-CPAP and CPAP is that CPAP delivers one continuous pressure level of air while Auto-CPAP adjusts to each person’s breathing needs, which can change throughout the night based on what stage of sleep you are in.

The way the Auto-CPAP machine functions is by continuously measuring how much resistance there is in your breathing. The technology will then either decrease pressure or increase pressure (usually when you are snoring or it senses a flow limitation).

There are a few factors that can change the amount of pressure you need to keep your airways open, including:

  • Anatomy of the airway
  • Nasal congestion (cold or allergies)
  • Body position (sleeping on your back vs. side)
  • Sleep stage
  • Use of alcohol or muscle relaxants

While CPAP machines constantly deliver pressure, the Auto-CPAP machine only delivers pressure when it’s necessary. The Auto-CPAP machine can be good for patients who cannot sleep with the standard CPAP therapy.

At Insurance Covered CPAP, we offer several different Auto-CPAP machines, which you can view under CPAP products. To find out if your insurance covers an Auto-CPAP machine and supplies, fill out our Qualified Through Insurance form.