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How To Tell If Your CPAP Pressure Is Too High Or Too Low

Your prescribed CPAP pressure setting is related to the degree of your Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). However, severe OSA does not necessarily mean a higher pressure. Read this blog to learn whether or not your CPAP pressure is too high or too low.

How does CPAP therapy work?

Before everything else, let’s first discuss how CPAP works? With CPAP, the air is pushed from the flow generator through the tubing and mask. The air then passes through the nose and into the throat, where the slight pressure keeps the upper airway open.

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. The low air pressure does not interfere with breathing, though some people need a few nights to get used to the sensation of positive airflow.

Successful CPAP users report improvements in:

  • Vitality and motivation
  • Job performance
  • Mood
  • Sexual drive and performance
  • Alertness while driving
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of sleep

A failure to use CPAP therapy may increase your risk for conditions linked to untreated OSA:

  • Hypertension (OSA increases your risk of hypertension by up to five times)
  • Stroke
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)

How to tell if your CPAP pressure is too high or too low?

The general rule is that your CPAP pressure should be prescribed by your doctor. It should be enough to keep your airways open and unobstructed for the entire night. Keep in mind that when your CPAP pressure is too low, you’re most likely to loudly snore or wake up gasping for air. On another note, if your CPAP pressure is too high, you’ll experience nasal congestion, interrupted sleep, and uncomfortable sleep therapy.

Always consult your doctor should you have issues with your CPAP equipment. It is also important to take note of Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) and Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP). BiPAP pressure settings can be categorized into inhalation and exhalation pressures. APAP or AutoPAP machine, as the name suggests, offers the convenience of having an automatically set CPAP pressure.

Bilevel therapy is not typically prescribed for OSA patients; however, OSA patients who require high treatment pressures or have another respiratory condition are often candidates for bilevel therapy.

GoCPAP offers OSA patients with a wide range of CPAP machines and products that will help increase air pressure in your throat in order to prevent the airway from narrowing. This results in improved focus, lower blood pressure, reduced daytime fatigue, and a healthier and stronger immune system.