How does CPAP work? Many people believe that CPAP is a breathing machine, but this isn’t the case. What CPAP does is allow you to breathe.
CPAP allows you to breathe by creating a pneumatic splint (aka: air splint). It’s easy to conceptualize this by thinking of a tire. The air in the tire has enough pressure to keep the tube open despite the weight of a car or person being place on it. CPAP works in the same way with some small differences.
When apnea occurs, your throat closes like how a tire without air in it. It would collapse, you’d choke and gasp, and then you’d wake up. CPAP creates the pressure that keeps your throat open and all obstructions out of the way of you breathing.
One difference is that you are breathing and a tire is not. CPAP compensates for the leak through your mask vents, and the actual breathing itself. It is constantly measuring the mask pressure so that pressure adjustments can be made. If you inhale the pressure will increase because of the void in mask pressure. When you exhale the blower will decrease because the mask pressure increases. You wearing the mask should feel relatively little change in pressure because off of this is happening very quickly.
Check out the videos for a little more information and demonstration.