What is a CPAP? Plus BIPAP VS CPAP

What Is CPAP?

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open. CPAP typically is used by people who have breathing problems, such as sleep apnea.

CPAP also may be used to treat preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed. For example, doctors may use CPAP to treat infants who have respiratory distress syndrome or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (brong-ko-PULL-mun-ary dis-PLA-ze-ah).

The main focus of this article is CPAP treatment for sleep apnea, although treatment in preterm infants is discussed briefly.



CPAP treatment involves a CPAP machine, which has three main parts:

  • A mask or other device that fits over your nose or your nose and mouth. Straps keep the mask in place while you’re wearing it.
  • A tube that connects the mask to the machine’s motor.
  • A motor that blows air into the tube.

Some CPAP machines have other features as well, such as heated humidifiers. CPAP machines are small, lightweight, and fairly quiet. The noise that they make is soft and rhythmic.

CPAP often is the best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. As a result, not enough air reaches your lungs.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airway collapses or is blocked during sleep. When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Your snoring may wake other people in the house.

The mild pressure from CPAP can prevent your airway from collapsing or becoming blocked.

If your doctor prescribes CPAP, you’ll work with someone from a home equipment provider to select a CPAP machine. (Home equipment providers sometimes are called durable medical equipment, or DME.)

Your doctor will work with you to make sure the settings that he or she prescribes for your CPAP machine are correct. He or she may recommend an overnight sleep study to find the correct settings for you. Your doctor will want to make sure the air pressure from the machine is just enough to keep your airway open while you sleep.

There are many kinds of CPAP machines and masks. Let your doctor know if you’re not happy with the type you’re using. He or she may suggest switching to a different type that might work better for you.

CPAP also is used to treat preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed. For this treatment, soft prongs are placed in an infant’s nostrils. The CPAP machine gently blows air into the baby’s nose, which helps inflate his or her lungs.


CPAP has many benefits. It can:

  • Keep your airway open while you sleep
  • Correct snoring so others in your household can sleep
  • Improve your quality of sleep
  • Relieve sleep apnea symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Decrease or prevent high blood pressure

Many people who use CPAP report feeling better once they begin treatment. They feel more attentive and better able to work during the day. They also report fewer complaints from bed partners about snoring and sleep disruption.

In some preterm infants whose lungs have not fully developed, CPAP improves survival. It also can reduce the need for steroid treatment for the lungs.

Also, in some infants, CPAP prevents the need to insert a breathing tube through the mouth and into the windpipe to deliver air from a ventilator. (A ventilator is a machine that supports breathing.)

CPAP treatment is less invasive than ventilator therapy. Research suggests that CPAP is an appropriate first treatment for some preterm newborns.



Support for Ventilator Users and those with sleep/breathing problems

When Are Trachs an Option?



22q and breathing problems.


A support group that is there for people to post information and give support and friendship to those with 22Q and breathing problems


Community Caring about Sleep Apnea diagnosis and Sleep Apnea treatment,

CPAP machines, Sleep Apnea surgery and dental appliances.


So many people get a CPAP delivered to them, become frustrated and then give up. Others never even come to the realization that they have a common, chronic sleep disorder called Sleep Apnea — they think it’s their lot in life to be tired, irritable, miserable, depressed. One thing that is certain is that the outlook does not have to be so grim. Many people have successfully treated their Sleep Apnea through CPAP or other means and have turned around their lives.

This forum was started by Mike and other individuals who have sleep apnea and want to provide a friendly, open and inclusive forum to discuss anything and everything related to sleep apnea, a vastly under-diagnosed and commonly misunderstood condition.

If you want to wait for “experts” to give you the information and resources you need, this is not the place for you. If, however, you are an expert who puts your patients first or you are a patient ready to rely on yourself and the collective wisdom of a vibrant, intelligent community of individuals who have sleep apnea, and who recognize the importance of treating it properly, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a place to ask questions and to answer the questions of others, to find out what works and what doesn’t — tips and tricks for managing CPAP and other treatment options. It’s also a place where we can get to get to know each other. So ask a question, answer a question, post your picture or share with us your journey with sleep apnea. But most important, get involved. It’s your health and nobody is better equipped than you to get it back on track.


 This is our own facebook support group     


if you are a family who has a child or family member with this breathing disability who is in need of support i am someone who has personal experience of this condition.
i was born with this condition and also I was born with a enlarged heart and a lung that did not work to its full ability, having enduring ill health but until a heart attack at 15 the doctors were unaware of the extent my health problems. i was then diagnosed with a heart attack and Ondines, prescribed with tablets and my mother was told that i was not to be expected to last two weeks, I am now 38 years old and happy to say that I am coping with my condition. If you feel isolated and need someone to talk to even if its only about day to day life please get in touch


 Facebook Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome

Support Group

For people and family of people with CCHS; the rarest of the world’s most beautiful gems.GUIDELINES:1) Only people with CCHS and their close relatives are to be admitted. If a diagnosis is not confirmed and there are compelling grounds for admission, please refer to the administrators, and we will evaluate whether or not the applicant should be admitted.2) When you post a question, please keep i mind that all answers are based on personal experience, and that ALL medical advice should be discussed with your medical CCHS consultant. (We encourage everybody to read the extensive litterature atwww.cchsnetwork.org and to join the discussion board there to have as many qualified sources of knowledge and experience as possible.)3) When commenting on posts, please keep in mind that your particular issues, treatment, and situation are likely to be be very different from most others as CCHS is an extremely complex condition, and this is an international forum.4) Please keep your tone respectful at all times.5) If you feel any of these rules are being violated, please contact one of the administrators.6) The administrators preserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or misguiding, and to delete members who are in the group for the wrong reasons or are violating the guidelines consistently.


Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust ISAT


The Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust (ISAT), non-political, non-profit, voluntary, advocacy, patient support group for sufferers (& families) of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

Welcome to the website homepage of the Irish Sleep Apnoea Trust, (ISAT) (in Gaelic) “Iontaobhas Apnoea Codlata na hÉireann“.  You will find our website is a great source of informative to you on sleep apnoea and indeed some other sleep-related disorders.  The website is easy to navigate and will render well in smartphones like iPhone and android.  Please return often as we regularly update.  It is essential to do so as our advocacy programme propagates.

If you feel you might suffer from a sleep disorder or have queries, comments or suggestions, complete the feedback form, send an Email, write or phone.

Our Contact Page carries all of the contact co-ordinates required for your easy decision on preferred method of interaction and communication with ISAT.


The Sleep Apnoea Trust Association


The Sleep Apnoea Trust is a patient support charity run by patients for patients. It is dedicated to increasing understanding, diagnosis and treatment of this serious illness. We help patients and their families with information and telephone helplines. We also fund research into the condition and act as a pressure group for patients.

InVent Health


We are dedicated to providing outstanding care for our patients. Our highly skilled staff recognise that their experience and expertise in complex care can change the quality of life for patients and their families.

As a care provider for children and adults with long term, complex health care needs,

we work hard to make the lives of our patients, their families and our NHS colleagues better through the high standards outlined in our values statement and policies.


Narcolepsy UK 


Narcolepsy UK is a charity (No. 1144342) that supports people with narcolepsy, their families, carers and others interested in improving their quality of life.



Wake Up to Sleep is ResMed’s comprehensive sleep apnea support community intended to help people along their entire journey—from awareness to diagnosis to successful treatment.https://www.wakeuptosleep.com/

Features of the community:Treatment news and information

Educational videos and FAQs

Inspirational patient stories



International Ventilator Users Network’s mission is to enhance the lives and independence of home ventilator users and polio survivors through education, advocacy, research and networking.




(Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page) is an independent nonprofit project that is family run, family centered and impartial. Every attempt is made to provide information that follows accepted standards of care for pediatric tracheostomy care in a home setting. This information is free of charge and provided without annoying advertisements.


Tracheotomy Facebook support group
The Humber Sleep Apnoea Support Group
(HSASG) is a voluntary organisation which is supported by the Sleep Centre at Castle Hill Hospital near Hull. It is the intention of the group to undertake a number of activities to promote understanding of the issues related to Sleep Apnea.
St James Sleep Apnea Support Group




Facebook Group Sleep Apnoea Awareness



Talk about Sleep disorder message board 


Sleep apnea support group


Irish Sleep Society 



My child has CCHS





Sleep apnea 



The HoseHeads (Sleep Apnea Support Group)



Moms of Trach Babies (Facebook pages)



Personal stories links and blogs about CCHS and Ventilator Users


Personal Blogs




Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page is an independent nonprofit project that is family run, family centered and impartial. Every attempt is made to provide information that follows accepted standards of care for pediatric tracheostomy care in a home setting. This information is free of charge and provided without annoying advertisements.


I have written this blog post





Hello, my name is Heather. I am a brain tumor survivor from the early‘80’s. I am also a stroke survivor with Spinocerebellar Ataxia, and a condition of disordered breathing referred to as Ondine’s Curse. “Cursed” is not how I choose to look at my life. The tumor and stroke took away abilities I had previously taken for granted, but I realize how fortunate I am to be alive. The type of “Brainstem Glioma” that I had would not have been operable 20 years earlier. I received great care at the University of Virginia Hospital and later at a children’s rehabilitation center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Respiratory failure had landed me in the surgical intensive care unit where I narrowly missed having a tenjoyed. My life had turned upside down, but I focused on the things I could still do. It hasn’t been easy because the “movement disorder” or ataxia I have is degenerative. After high school, I went on to college where I graduated Suma Cum Laude from Shenandoah University. I have a diploma in Nutritional Therapy and I have started a blog at http://nutritionaltidbitsandchronicdisease.blogspot.com Currently, I planning to write a book about growing up with disabilities.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way by Heather Y

September 25th is designated International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD). For those of you unfamiliar with the different types of the word Ataxia it is not a specific diagnosis, but rather a group of related symptoms (i.e. tremor, in coordination, etc.) characteristic of an underlying disorder whether hereditary (i.e. Freidrich’s Ataxia) or acquired as a symptom(s) of an underlying disorder. IAAD is an opportunity for the Ataxia community to spread awareness and I would like to share a personal experience. It was a crisp fall day, and I had decided to take the dog out before it rained. The sky was a bit overcast, but the weather forecast was for showers in the late afternoon. It was only 11:00 AM, but I donned my floppy purple hat and sunglasses, anyway. I opened the screen door and bounded out onto the porch, as the door slammed shut behind me. I never gave it a second thought, that is, until I discovered I was locked outside of the house. Oh, no! I pulled on the door handle, but it wouldn’t budge. My mind raced for a simple solution, but I had to admit that there was none. The dog made her usual rounds through the yard, and then she stopped and looked over at me. Even she knew that something was wrong. How am I going to get back in the house? I wondered. I needed to call for or help, but whom? There were some neighbors who might be home, but their house was on the other side of the fence. I have a severe balance problem, and I wasn’t about to attempt to climb the chain link. There are reports of people getting hung on wire fences, Still, I had to get back inside! The cats were in there, and one of them was very, very sick. My mind raced, again, as I glanced at the padlock on the gate. Could I get through it without letting the dog out? The animals were my responsibility and my biggest concern. It never occurred to me that I could get hurt, but there was another neighbor who might be able to help me. Carefully, I leaned on the gate and undid the padlock. Checking to make sure the dog was preoccupied on the other side of the yard, I eased open the gate door and slowly lowered myself until I was sitting on the top step. My joints are always locking up on me, but once I had scooted down those steps I stood erect without even giving my “tricky” equilibrium a second thought. I walked straight across the driveway, down the bank, across the next driveway, up over that embankment and down the uneven hill to the neighbor’s porch (All this without the usual staggering often confused as drunkenness).up the steps, and rang the doorbell. What a relief that someone was home! I asked to use the phone and was told that help would arrive within twenty minutes! That was a lesson to me to check the door latch before going outside.



1. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/overview, “Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome.” 2. http://www.medlink.com/CIP.ASP?UID=MLT0J, “Central Alveolar Hypoventilan”


A Story about CCHS (Diaphragm Pacing) – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


A personal blog





Health: The little boy who forgets to breathe

THE sound of their child giggling would make most parents smile but it is one that Sarah Cross dreads. If her little boy Sam laughs for too long it can be life-threatening. Sam, aged six, is just one of around 60 people in Britain with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), which means he often stops breathing. It can happen if he’s upset, ill, playing with friends or just concentrating on his favourite TV programme. It always happens when he falls asleep.

BREATHING ISSUES: Sam is thriving despite his condition.
“He looks like a healthy, happy little boy but he has a deadly condition,” says Sarah, 38. “Even laughing can be dangerous if it goes on for too long, because he will either stop breathing or take very shallow breaths. If he’s not getting enough oxygen he will pass out. He needs someone to bring him round and if necessary get him breathing again.”Consultant paediatrician Martin Samuels, from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, is a leading expert on the condition. He says CCHS or Ondine’s Curse, as it was formerly known, is a genetic condition of the central nervous system that affects the automatic control of breathing.The fault in the brain stem means those with the condition “forget” to breathe, especially during deep sleep. At other times they may under-breathe, resulting in a build-up of carbon dioxide – the waste gas we usually breathe out – and a fall in oxygen levels in the blood.
“When carbon dioxide levels rise patients can pass out, sometimes it can lead to brain damage or even death,” says Dr Samuels.He says people with CCHS need ventilation at night, with the severely affected needing 24-hour ventilation. In Sam’s case he’s attached to a ventilator via a tracheostomy at night, which kick-starts his breathing every time it stops. When he gets older he may choose to sleep with a mask on to aid breathing instead. Sam also has a trained carer watching over him while he sleeps in case the shoebox-sized ventilator breaks down. He has a carer when he’s at school, too.Sarah, who works in a bank, says Sam first stopped breathing 15 minutes after he was born. “He looked perfect when he was first given to me. He was so alert. But like all newborns he nodded off. It was the midwife who noticed he had turned blue.”
Often breathing problems are a sign of a heart defect but Sam was given the all clear, although he continued to stop breathing. Luckily the registrar overseeing his care had come across CCHS before and Sam was tested for the gene defect which is associated with the syndrome. The defect occurs in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, though no one understands why.“I was grateful to know he had been diagnosed but it sounded scary,” says Sarah, a single mum who lives with Sam in Pontprennau, Cardiff. “I was also told he might never eat or speak. I’m pleased to say they were wrong as he doesn’t stop doing either.”Sam spent the first nine months of his life in hospital. When he was allowed home, the first few years were very isolating as Sarah couldn’t drive Sam anywhere without another person in the back watching him in case he fell asleep. Because he has a tracheostomy, Sam is also more susceptible to infections, especially those related to the ears, nose and throat.
Now Sam is a little older, life is easier. Sarah can drive him short distances and he’s thriving at school, where he has lots of friends. Sarah is never far away from Sam when she’s his main carer. She also knows if he looks flushed, is clammy or sweaty, or has aching limbs, his carbon dioxide levels are building up.He has passed out a couple of times at school although fortunately he comes round quickly. If necessary he is attached to his ventilator but otherwise he is encouraged to take deep breaths. Sarah says: “People often say how healthy he looks and ask why I need so much support. But Sam stops breathing every day – he has a deadly but ‘unseen’ condition.”S arah adds: “Children like Sam used to live in hospitals. As a parent I’ve fought hard to get the support he needs so that he can be at home. Like every parent I think he is amazing. He’s a very bright little boy and he has achieved more than I would have ever expected.
“I’m really proud of him. I hope he does well at school and goes to university. Children with CCHS can achieve and be part of society – they just need a bit of support.
A toddler is preparing to go home for the first time in her life after spending almost three years at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Ondine’s Curse: Girl With Ventilator Can Go Home
 Maisie Harris suffers from a rare condition called Ondine’s Curse, which means her brain does not tell her body to breathe, so she needs a ventilator to do it for her.Now, thanks to a smaller, more portable ventilator, Maisie will be able to leave hospital and head home to Gillingham in Kent.The new ventilator is intelligent enough to know when she is able to take her own breaths and when she is likely to have an episode and require ventilation.Her mother Rachel Bridger told the media: “It’s exciting, I’m nervous. It’s all new going home. It’ll be good to just be a normal family. You don’t feel normal being in hospital so long.”The last three years have been up and down, good and bad. You give up sometimes. I thought it might be the end of the road but she pulled through which is great news. I’m looking forward to taking her to the park and to her nan’s.”The new ventilator is the best thing she’s ever had.”

Maisie Harris has rare condition called Ondine's Curse
Maisie will leave hospital soon

Maisie, who turns three on October 23, has been at London’s Great Ormond Street so long that staff held a going-home party. Maisie will leave the hospital with her family on Monday.

Ward manager Kate Harkus said: “It means a lot to the staff that she’s going home. We feel very proud. We’ve nursed her through rocky times.

“There are very few machines in the world that will be able to support her at home. Technology is advancing so much that more companies are coming out with these ventilators that you can manage at home.”

Maisie’s parents have mostly been living in hospital accommodation ever since she was transferred to Great Ormond Street from Medway Maritime Hospital when she was three months old.

Her father Andrew Harris explained : “It’s been difficult. She was in intensive care going backwards and forwards.

Kate’s story

The Cobh toddler who has only spent a few nights at home since she was born almost two years ago is finally home with her delighted family.
Kate Flynn, who will be two next month, spent a number of nights at her Cobh home with her parents Mark and Lisa and brothers Adam and Alex in recent weeks.
And now to everyone’s joy she is at home full time, with support and care from a home nursing team set in place to cope with Kate’s needs.
Her thrilled father Mark said: “We are over the moon. We can scarcely believe its true. It will have a huge beneficial impact on all our lives, primarily that it will no longer revolve around a hospital setting but now a family home environment, the way it should be. Kate is so amazing and makes us so proud every day.”
Little Kate, who wasborn in June 2013 by emergency C-section at CUMH, needs a ventilator to survive and also has a tracheostomy. She spends between just two and three hours a day off the ventilator. She is fed through a peg because she has difficulty in swallowing. Kate was born in June 2013 by emergency C-section at Cork University Maternity Hospital.Within hours of her birth, she was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin because she had immediate breathing problems. She has had dozens of episodes in her short life in which she has stopped breathing and needed resuscitation
Her parents, are now awaiting the results of tests to establish if she has a genetic condition.
Caption: Baby Kate with her brothers Alex and Adam and parents Mark and Lisa. Picture: Larry Cummins

Evening Echo's photo.

forwards. Now she’s ready to go home it’s all been worth it.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her go to school and growing up. We didn’t think she’d get to this stage.”