What Is Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP)

What Is Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP)

Nasal expiratory positive airway pressure also called “EPAP” is an innovative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This device is a small valve with a hypoallergenic adhesive externally attached to the person’s nostrils for a night use. This one-way valve permits air to flow into the airways as the patient inhales, but resists airflow when the patient breathes out. During exhalation,  air is directed through a small opening which increases the resistance. This increased resistance during exhalation creates EPAP that is maintained until the user’s next inhalation. If you are suspecting that you might have obstructive sleep apnea, click here to look for solutions to your condition.

These are some factors to consider when using nasal EPAP

Points to consider

Nasal EPAP works by making it hard for the OSA patients to breathe out. That pressure is creating by harnessing the force of the user’s own breath. The resistance created during the exhalation process produces light pressure in the user’s airway,  assisting in keeping the airway open. The principal difference between CPAP and EPAP is that CPAP creates positive pressure during inhalation and exhalation. EPAP creates positive pressure during exhalation only. Nasal EPAP doesn’t force air into a patient’s throat which can cause discomfort and stomach pain to some users. EPAP is a gentler and natural alternative to CPAP. It takes some time to get used to nasal EPAP. If the patient wakes up and feels uncomfortable, opening the mouth alleviates the discomfort.

Who can use nasal EPAP devices

Someone must be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by a qualified doctor before nasal EPAP is recommended. The severity of obstructive sleep apnea must be determined before proper treatment is prescribed. These tests are done in a proper setup such as a polysomnography laboratory. Once you get a proper diagnosis and evaluation, nasal EPAP might be recommended for patients with:

  • Mild to severe OSA that are non-compliant with CPAP
  • Newly diagnosed patients with mild to moderate OSA and has no co-morbidities
  • OSA patients that are CPAP compliant and looking for alternative therapy

How to attach the nasal EPAP device

Attaching the device is pretty simple.  First, you must check that your face is clean and dry before attaching the nasal EPAP device. Next, you should grasp the small tab on the device and peel off the backing. To properly align the plastic portion of the nasal EPAP device, you should stand in front of a mirror to ensure a proper placement of the device’s plastic portion in your nostrils. It is best if you drop your upper lip as if shaving to apply pressure on the adhesive correctly. Gently applying and pressing down on the adhesive creates a seal to ensure there is no air leak.

Obstructive sleep apnea can begin as a minor problem, but if you left it untreated, it could develop several risks to your health such as strokes, heart diseases and high blood pressure among others. This video provides a solution to stop sleep apnea and snoring without using a CPAP machine.