CPAP Lingo - Words and Phrases You Should Know
So your doctor recommends a CPAP machine. What's next? The world of CPAP machines and equipment seems daunting - and it's true, there's quite a bit to learn - but if you know your CPAP lingo, your research can be a lot faster and more effective.
Know the Terms
There is a variety of basic sleep apnea and CPAP terms you should know before beginning your CPAP machine research. Let’s learn them:
Apnea: Cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or longer.
Hypopnea: Slow breathing, typically associated with oxygen de-saturation that causes a 50 percent decrease in airflow.
Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI): Apnea plus hypopnea per hour of sleep.
Respiratory Arousal Index (RAI): AHI plus hypopnea per hour of sleep.
AHI/RAI Scale: The measurement of the apnea/hypopnea index and respiratory arousal index that helps determine the severity of sleep apnea:
- Five to 15 events per hour: mild
- 15 to 30 events per hour: moderate
- More than 30 events per hour: severe
Abbreviations to Know
AI: Apnea index, number of apnea events per hour.
HI: Hypopnea index, number of apnea events per hour.
AHI: Apnea/hypopnea index, number of apnea and hypopnea events combined.
RI: Respiratory index, number of respiratory arousals per hour.
RERAs: Respiratory Effort Related Arousals, sleep arousals that occur due to pressure flow limitations.