Glossary

CPAP

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. CPAP therapy involves pumping mildly pressurized air through a mask and into the airways during sleep. It is used in treating temporary nighttime breathing pauses. The incoming air prevents the muscles in the back of the throat from collapsing and blocking the upper airways. While this kind of CPAP therapy is about stabilizing the relaxed muscles in the back of the throat with mildly pressurized air, CPAP ventilation is also used in intensive care or by emergency medical services for people with lung or heart disease. In this case, the mild pressure makes it easier to breathe in, making sure that more air flows into the lungs.