The first Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine was developed by Australian researcher, Dr. Colin Sullivan during the early 1980s. The invention is considered a landmark development in the treatment of sleep apnea. His machine contained a reversed vacuum cleaner motor which blew into the patient’s nasal passage, using tubing to keep the airway open. Although the earlier versions of the machine were loud and bulky, it became the preferred treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over invasive tracheotomy surgery.
Today’s CPAP machines are smaller, quieter and are more comfortable to be slept in. Research proves that the CPAP must be used every night for 4.5 hours on a routine basis to be effective to treat OSA.