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FIGURE 1 Mechanism of upper airway occlusion in obstructive sleep apnea and its prevention by continuous positive airway pressure: "pneumatic splint" effect. Source: From Ref. 2.

airway must have the "capacity" to maintain any given pressure during inspiration. Early embodiments of the technology failed to respond rapidly to the airflow challenge at early inspiration, with an attendant pressure drop and consequently requiring a higher "set" pressure to compensate for such drops. The simplest CPAP systems involve an air blower with sufficient pressure-flow characteristics to provide CPAP while also accommodating both a fixed resistive leak in the system (typically adjacent to the mask) as well as unintentional leaks at the patient/delivery interface (Fig. 2). Such contemporary devices are generally microprocessor-controlled in order to meet rapid changes in the flow demands presented by the patient as well as the dynamics of variable leak often seen in clinical use of CPAP.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Have You Been Told Over And Over Again That You Snore A Lot, But You Choose To Ignore It? Have you been experiencing lack of sleep at night and find yourself waking up in the wee hours of the morning to find yourself gasping for air?

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