Yes, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a type of noninvasive ventilation (NIV). Noninvasive ventilation is a method of providing breathing or respiratory support to a patient without the establishment of any invasive airway (such as an endotracheal tube), which needs more maintenance.
Noninvasive ventilation is of two broad types:
- positive pressure ventilation
- negative pressure ventilation
CPAP is a type of positive pressure ventilation, which means that it delivers oxygen to the lungs by creating a positive pressure that forces air inside the airways. Another common type of positive pressure ventilation is called continuous bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP).
Negative pressure ventilation involves creating a negative pressure that sucks air into the lungs through a device that encases the chest and neck. The preferred mode of assisted ventilation these days is positive pressure ventilation.
What is CPAP used for?
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is used to provide breathing support to patients suffering from diseases, such as:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Respiratory failure
- Congestive heart failure
- Pulmonary edema
- Lung collapse or atelectasis
- Chronic lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis
- Certain lung infections
- Respiratory distress syndrome in infants
- Neuromuscular conditions, such as spinal muscular atrophy
How does CPAP work?
The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) consists of three main parts:
- A mask that fits over the nose and mouth
- A machine that creates positive pressure to push air into the lungs
- A tube that connects the machine to the mask thereby acting as a channel for air
This assembly ensures that air delivers continuously to the lungs. The suitable pressure at which the air will be delivered to the airways is decided through certain examinations performed by a doctor. They will select the right size and type of mask for the patient to suit their need and comfort.
The CPAP therapy provides air at a particular pressure than what is in the airways. This pushes air into the lungs and keeps the airways open. By keeping the airways open, it helps deliver oxygen to the lungs and remove carbon dioxide, thus supporting breathing in people with certain conditions that fail to keep the airways open.
CPAP therapy in suitable patients helps improve their overall health and quality of life. It has been shown to have several advantages, such as:
- Improved sleep quality
- Reduced snoring
- Reduced daytime sleepiness
- Improved focus, alertness, and memory
- Better blood pressure management
12 side effects that may occur with CPAP therapy
It may take some time for people to adjust to CPAP therapy. Mild discomfort, especially in the morning, is not uncommon during the initial days of the therapy.
A person must contact the doctor if they experience any of the following:
- Ill-fitting mask causing discomfort or air leaks
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Dry nose
- Persistent difficulty breathing
- Chest discomfort
- Eye irritation
- Abdominal bloating
Some people may experience increased dreaming during the first few days of starting the CPAP therapy. These symptoms usually subside within a few days. If you have any concerning symptoms, you must discuss them with your doctor.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Hoo GWS. Noninvasive Ventilation. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/304235-overview#a2
Hill NS, Kramer NR. Types of noninvasive nocturnal ventilatory support in neuromuscular and chest wall disease. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/types-of-noninvasive-nocturnal-ventilatory-support-in-neuromuscular-and-chest-wall-disease
Pinto VL, Sharma S. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. [Updated 2021 Jul 31]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482178/
Top Is CPAP a Type of NIV Related Articles
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF): Symptoms, Causes, Stages, TreatmentCongestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
What Are the Different Types of Mechanical Ventilation?Mechanical ventilation is a treatment to help a person breathe when they find it difficult or are unable to breathe on their own. A mechanical ventilator pushes airflow into the patient’s lungs. Mechanical ventilation is part of the arsenal of supportive care clinicians use for COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients with the most severe lung symptoms.
Pulmonary EdemaPulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs, can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath. Learn about causes, diagnosis complications, treatment, and prevention.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of Assisted Ventilation of the Newborn?To provide a baby assisted ventilation, a mechanical ventilator pumps oxygen to the lungs at pressure until the baby’s respiratory system works normally. This can help kickstart the baby’s breathing reflex if it’s compromised by underdevelopment or some congenital condition, but it may also lead to lung trauma.
Sleep DisordersA number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep: 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement).
Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea (OSA), and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. OSA is diagnosed and evaluated through patient history, physical examination and polysomnography. There are many complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments are surgical and non-surgical.
Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and MoreLearn about the different types of sleep/wake disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. Explore the symptoms, causes, tests and treatments of sleep disorders.
What Are the 4 Stages of Congestive Heart Failure?The New York Heart Association developed the four stages of congestive heart failure depending on the functional capabilities of the heart which includes Class I, Class II, Class III, and Class IV.
What Are the Types of Noninvasive Ventilation?A ventilator is a machine that helps in delivering oxygen to your lungs. It is used to assist with breathing when you cannot breathe on your own. There are two types of ventilation includes invasive ventilation and noninvasive ventilation.
What Is CPAP Therapy?CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) breathing machines include a pump for air and a mask that fits over the mouth and nose. It's common use is to push airflow into the lungs of people who have trouble breathing during sleep (sleep apnea). CPAP machines should not be used for breathing support in COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients. The devices may deliver adequate oxygen, but they also aerosolize the virus in the infected person’s breath and spread it around the area, increasing infection risk.
Who Needs Mechanical Ventilation?Mechanical ventilation is a treatment to help a person breathe when they find it difficult or are unable to breathe on their own. Mechanical ventilation is part of the arsenal of supportive care clinicians use for COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients with the most severe lung symptoms. Public health experts fear the coronavirus pandemic will cause a shortage of mechanical ventilation machines in the U.S.