CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It consists of a mask worn during sleep which is designed to fit snugly over the nose and sometimes mouth. It is connected to a small, quiet machine which gently blows air into the throat, stopping it from flopping shut, as occurs in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). CPAP is a very effective treatment. It improves sleepiness and snoring, and prevents any further damage to your health which OSA may be causing.


Starting CPAP therapy at Royal Papworth Hospital's Sleep Centre

People with OSA who need to start CPAP are admitted to the sleep centre as a day case or for an overnight stay. They are looked after by an experienced team of doctors and nurses who specialise in treatments such as CPAP. The team makes sure that the best possible mask fit is achieved for comfort and effectiveness. Patients are shown how to operate the equipment and given an auto titrating CPAP unit to take home, this works out the correct therapy levels for them while they sleep. After one to two weeks the unit will have calculated the optimal treatment levels and the patient is seen again by the specialist nurses and given a correctly calibrated CPAP unit for their long term use. They then take their CPAP home to use every night during sleep. Patients are given a telephone helpline number and a review appointment is arranged for a few months later to check CPAP therapy is working and deal with any 'teething' problems.


Patient videos

CPAP user guide

This video shows you how to use your CPAP machine overnight. 

How to find hours of use and other CPAP information

This video shows you how to find hours of use and other information from your CPAP machine ahead of a telephone or video appointment. 


Patient Information Leaflets

Click here to download the leaflet ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and CPAP Therapy’.