Standard or Fixed Pressure CPAP Machines have been the long standing staple and recommended treatment for sleep apnea for many years.
A fixed pressure CPAP machine delivers pressurized air via a CPAP mask (see: Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask, Full Face CPAP Mask, Nasal CPAP Mask) and that pressurized air provides a pneumatic splint in the airway that keeps it from collapsing during sleep.
The pressure measurements are delivered in a range of 4cm/H2O to 20cm/H20, however with a standard or fixed pressure CPAP machine it will only generate 1 specific setting throughout the entire night (excluding ramp time).
An example of a fixed pressure CPAP machine would be 12cm/H2O, and that means once the machine has ramped up it will continue to blow out 12cm/H2O the entire course of the night.
People sometimes confuse standard or fixed pressure CPAP with Auto CPAP because their machine comes with a ramp mode feature. However these 2 machines differ greatly in therapy delivery and ramp mode is simply a comfort feature that allows the user to fall asleep on a lower pressure while the machine “ramps up” to the fixed pressure setting, usually over a 20 minute period.
While standard or fixed pressure CPAP is the most commonly prescribed device, many users are gravitating to Auto CPAP machines.