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Definition of Positive Airway Pressure
The most common method is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in which a small pump pushes a steady flow of air through a face mask to maintain enough pressure against the airways to keep them open and unobstructed during sleep. CPAP is a common and an effective treatment for sleep apnea.
Bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP, is a flexible variation of CPAP. The conventional CPAP device maintains a constant airway pressure for inhalation and exhalation. BiPAP provides additional pressure or support during inspiration to aid inhalation.