Positive Airway Pressure Sleep Studies
A Positive Airway Pressure Sleep study is an overnight
sleep test in a facility while wearing a form of positive
airway pressure. Positive airway pressure is the most
used form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep testing on positive airway pressure may be ordered
for many reasons. A new diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep
Apnea is the most common. For a newly diagnosed
patient, the study is started at a low pressure and the
pressure is increased (titrated) upwards until the apnea
is corrected. A positive airway pressure sleep test gives
a patient experience with sleeping with pressure, a
chance to try one or more types of masks and observe
how the night affects the next day. The sleep physician
will benefit by being able to identify the best pressure or
pressures, the type of machine that condition requires
and if there are any additional sleep disorders present.
There are times that a sleep study on positive airway
pressure is performed when apnea is known to be a
problem and a person is already wearing positive airway
pressure nightly. These tests are performed when a
person has not responded to the therapy appropriately.
Symptoms may have persisted. A second disorder of
sleep is suspected.
The CPAP titration study is performed to measure the
effect of breathing air at a pressure that is slightly
higher than atmospheric pressure. The most common
form of this test uses constant positive airway pressure
(CPAP). While the subject sleeps, the technicians will
monitor measurements for obstructive apnea and
gradually increase the amount of pressure to control the
obstructions. People who are found to have obstructive
sleep apnea during a sleep study at home or on a facility
diagnostic sleep test will benefit from a CPAP titration
Testing sleep on Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)
A sleep test with CPAP is very similar to a diagnostic
sleep test. The only difference is that the air breathed
will be room air at a slightly higher pressure through a
special mask. Before the test is started the sleep
technician will assist you in selecting a mask to wear.
Masks are specially designed and constructed to use with
PAP treatment. All of the sensors used during a
diagnostic study will be used again. The only addition
will be the positive airway pressure mask.
The sleep technicians are experienced professionals who
have assisted hundreds of individuals with choosing a
mask. They will guide your selection. If you have serious
worries about wearing a mask during sleep, let the Sleep
Center staff know and be sure to tell your sleep
technician the night of your study.
Page Fact – Identifying the correct pressure and mask for each individual is the key to successful Positive Airway Pressure treatment.
Updated June 2022