Nasal EPAP: How it Works
POSTED 13 Aug 2015

EPAP stands for Nasal Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure, considered as a pioneering treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. It is less intrusive as the device is just a small valve that is externally attached by a hypoallergenic adhesive to a patient’s nostril during therapy.

EPAP Explained

As a patient inhales the one-way valve of the EPAP allows airflow into his airway. As the patient exhales the device resists the airflow as it is directed to a small opening. The increases resistance creates expiratory positive airway pressure and is maintained up patient’s next inhalation. The positive airway pressure is easily and effectively maintained in the upper airway upon exhalation thus preventing its collapse. The air pressure created is called Positive End Expiratory

Pressure or PEEP.

The pressure created is actually based on the force of the patient’s breath. The resistance brought about during exhalation creates light pressure in the upper airway of the patient thus helping in keeping the airway open.

A CPAP machine creates positive pressure during exhalation and inhalation while an EPAP only creates positive pressure only during exhalation. Where a CPAP machine forces air into a patient’s throat, an

EPAP machine does not and is therefore a gentler alternative to CPAP therapy. As with any breathing aid machine, getting used to a nasal EPAP takes time.

Who can use a Nasal EPAP?

A nasal EPAP is only recommended for patients diagnosed with OSA. The diagnosis must be done by a qualified medical practitioner and the severity of OSA determined. After tests are done, diagnosis, evaluation and recommendation are done. Nasal EPAP are recommended for patients who:

• have mild to severe OSA who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy
• have mild to moderate OSA and have no co morbidities
• are CPAP complaint but looking for another treatment option

Attaching a Nasal EPAP

Attaching an EPAP is not as hard as one thinks. A user’s face must be clean before attaching an EPAP device then peel off the backing from the device’s small tab. To ensure proper placement and alignment of the EPAP’s plastic portion in his nostril, it is best to do this while standing in front of a mirror. Then he should drop his upper lip just like in shaving to properly apply pressure on the adhesive. To ensure proper seal, one must gently press down the adhesive. To test for leaks, one must cover the oval mesh on both nostrils and exhale gently through the nose to make sure there is no escaping air through the adhesives.

Multiple studies have concluded that the use of nasal EPAP therapy effectively decreases incidence of apneas, reduces daytime sleepiness, improves quality of sleep and reduces snoring.

If you have OSA, nasal EPAP therapy is another treatment option for you.

PerthCPAP can help you. Call us NOW at 1300 744 441

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