Definitions of Words Used When Discussing Sleep Disorders

Apnea - Cessation of breathing for 10 or more seconds during sleep. There are two basic types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Apnea is cause by a closure of the air passage despite efforts to breath. Central Apnea is a lack of effort to breath. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is by far the most common type. True apnea during wakefulness is rare.

Apnea Index - The frequency of apneas per hour of sleep.

BiPAP (Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressue) - A CPAP device providing two measured pressure levels of continuous airflow: one level for inhalation and a lower level for exhalation.

Compliance - Adhering to the prescribed treatment plan.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) - A medical device used to treat sleep apnea. This apparatus provides a highly effective, non-invasive therapy that eliminates blockages and prevents collapse of the upper airway by generating a prescribed level of air pressure that maintains airway patency during sleep. Air pressure is delivered through a hose to a mask that fits over the nose, or both nose and mouth. The mask is secured on the face by headgear with is worn over the head. The appropriate air pressure level is determined during a “CPAP titration” sleep study. The complete system consists of a programmable pressure generator, tubing, mask and headgear.

CPAP Pressure - Prescribed by the physician.

Diagnostic Sleep Study - A Diagnostic Sleep Study is conducted by monitoring several physiological activities in a sleeping individual. It is usually carried out to determine if a specific sleep disorder exists. A diagnostic sleep study can be performed in a sleep disorders center or in a patient’s home with portable recording equipment.

PAP Therapy - PAP Therapy gently blows air into your nose and/or mouth to prevent your airway from collapsing. It is a non-invasive treatment.