Auto Titrating CPAP Explained

Auto Titrating CPAP Explained

Years ago, an auto titrating CPAP or auto-adjusting CPAP machine was inaccurate, unnecessary and too expensive. That was then.  Now technology has improved and machines cost a lot less. So now an auto titrating or auto-adjusting unit (APAP) is much more popular.  These machines are incredibly accurate and are the unit most CPAP users opt for when purchasing a new machine.

Why Choose Auto Titrating CPAP?

Auto titrating (which is just another name for auto adjusting,) occurs in a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It happens when the machine's sensor and internal algorithm adjust air pressure on a breath by breath basis. This provides the user the least amount of pressure to maintain integrity of the airway.

In layman’s terms, as the throat starts to collapse and an apnea begins, the sensor tracks exactly how much pressure is necessary to keep the user breathing normally. It also signals the machine to raise or lower air pressure accordingly. By measuring each breath, the auto titration automatically adjusts the pressure both up and down. The importance of this function – giving a CPAP user the exact amount of required pressure - provides for a more natural, comfortable user experience. The accuracy level for many users is also much higher. Since the airway remains open in later stages of sleep when all the important stuff happens to rejuvenate your body, preserve your memory, and refresh you, auto titrating CPAP keeps users soundly asleep throughout all the sleep cycles.

A complaint with a traditional, fixed pressure CPAP machine is that once the machine is switched on, it can be hard to fall asleep. That's because there's constant pressure blowing. Auto titration allows the user to settle into the first two stages of sleep. It increases pressure only when necessary, allowing the user to fall asleep, and stay asleep much more comfortably. The auto adjusting concept certainly makes sense because users only need air pressure when their throats close and apneas occur.

One of the primary benefits of auto titrating units is compliance. Auto titrating CPAP users who procured their machines through insurance are required to be monitored and remain compliant. Given the more natural and comfortable functioning of an auto titrating unit, compliance becomes easier to maintain. Moreover, nearly all newer auto CPAP machines allow insurance companies; sleep labs, doctors and patients to view data from the machine remotely, on a device like a smart phone, tablet or computer. Doctors not only can check compliance, but they can monitor air pressure and efficacy and make adjustments to improve treatment remotely.

Our Best Auto Titrating CPAP Machines

Some of the newest and most popular Auto Titrating CPAP Machines are:
The DreamStation Auto CPAP Machine manufactured by Philips Respironics, starting at $638. Our clients reviewed this streamlined machine and found it user-friendly. They especially enjoy the feature that allows users to connect to a mobile app for daily progress feedback. It has an optional heated humidifier and is very quiet. One customer even said “if it were not for the pressure I wouldn’t even know it was on!”

The AirSense™ 10 AutoSet CPAP Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier is a machine by ResMed. Our users say the air pressure algorithm and settings on this machine make it extremely comfortable. They also say it is the quietest machine available.  The pressure adjusts to provide you the perfect amount of pressure with every breath. Everyone commented on selecting the optional integrated heated humidifier. One customer went so far as to compare the machine to a “poor man’s BiPAP” because it is so easy to exhale as the pressure is lowered.

As CPAP therapy continues to evolve, CPAP users can expect even more comfort, especially within the CPAP masks that work with any machine. If you are in the market for a new machine, the benefits of an auto-titrating PAP machine will provide you the most comfort and highest value over the long run even though they are typically a bit more expensive. Looking at the purchase of “what will get me the best rest for my money” an auto unit will typically win out over a fixed pressure unit.

Chris Vasta

Chris Vasta is the president of The CPAP Shop and an expert in sleep and respiratory therapy. He often provides insights on product design and functionality on various manufacturers’ prototypes and is frequently tapped to provide reviews on new releases.