BIPAP vs CPAP

Have You Heard of Bipap?

A BIPAP machine is a medical device used to treat sleep apnea. It’s mainly used by patients with advanced levels of sleep apnea problems. It acts more like a ventilator as it doesn’t necessarily help in breathing. It just keeps the lungs active by providing a steady flow of air. You wear a mask or nasal plugs (very similar to CPAP) that are connected to the ventilator. The machine supplies pressurized air into your airways. It is called “positive pressure ventilation” because the device helps open your lungs with this air pressure.

The Major Functions Of These Machines Are:

– To force air through the airway

– To regulate the air pressure when the patient exhales thus maintaining a proper balance of air

The Main Objectives Of The Device Include:

– Improves the overall oxygenation in the body by assisting in the breathing process

– Reduces the effort of the lungs in breathing

– Improves the functioning of the heart

How Does The Machine Work?

The treatment device works by means of a small air pump attached to a mask, fitted over the mouth of the patient. The device checks the breath and controls the type of pressure needed by the patient for breathing in and out. Most machines feature a humidifier that helps keep the area around the nostrils moist.

Benefits Of The Machines Include:

– These machines work effectively in the treatment of sleep apnea. The clinical status and the blood gas levels of the patient improve drastically.

– They treat central sleep apneas related to cerebrovascular accidents and cardiac failures.

– Most patients have excellent compliance rates with these machines.

– These machines help patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

– Cost – The cost of these machines is usually high compared to the other machines used to treat sleep apnea.

It is recommended that you consult your doctor before you begin using the treatment machine. Your doctor will fit the machine for you and will help you determine the kind of pressure you need to help you breathe normally and naturally during your sleep. The doctor will also help you solve any problems that come with using the machine.

It is important to note that such machines can only be bought if the patient has a prescription from a qualified medical practitioner.
BiPAP (also referred to as BPAP) stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, and is very similar in function and design to a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). A BiPAP machine is a non-invasive form of therapy for patients suffering from sleep apnea. Both machine types deliver pressurized air through a mask to the patient’s airways. The air pressure keeps the throat muscles from collapsing and reducing obstructions by acting as a splint. Both CPAP and BiPAP machines allow patients to breathe easily and regularly throughout the night.

The Difference Between BiPAP and CPAP

For the most part, CPAP machines have been the go-to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machines deliver a steady, continuous stream of pressurized air to patient’s airways to prevent them from collapsing and causing apnea events. After a CPAP titration study, your sleep technician and doctor will determine the pressure settings for your CPAP machine and set the machine to deliver that exact amount of pressure continuously.

CPAP machines can only be set to a single pressure that remains consistent throughout the night. However, many CPAP machines have a ramp feature that starts off with a lower pressure setting and gradually builds to the prescribed pressure. This comfort feature simply makes the pressure at the beginning more tolerable and less immediate, once the pressure builds to the required setting, it stays at that setting for the rest of the

One of the complaints about CPAP devices is that some patients find the constant singular pressure difficult to exhale against. For patients with higher pressure strengths, exhaling against the incoming air can feel difficult, as if they’re having to force their breathing out.

The main difference between BiPAP and CPAP machines is that BiPAP machines have two pressure settings: the prescribed pressure for inhalation (ipap), and a lower pressure for exhalation (epap). The dual settings allow the patient to get more air in and out of their lungs.

BiPAPs can also be set to include a breath timing feature that measures the amount of breaths per minute a person should be taking. If the time between breaths exceeds the set limit, the machine can force the person to breath by temporarily  increasing the air pressure.

Would You Benefit from BiPAP Therapy?

BiPAP machines are often prescribed to sleep apnea patients with high pressure settings or low oxygen levels.

BiPAPs are often used after CPAP has failed to adequately treat certain patients.
BiPAPs can be helpful for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders such as congestive heart failure. A BiPAP is often prescribed to people with lung disorders or certain neuromuscular disorders.

CPAP with C-Flex Instead of BiPAP?

C-Flex is similar to BiPAP therapy in that it offers pressure relief as the patient exhales so that they don’t feel like they’re fighting against the incoming airflow during expiration. However, C-Flex is more of a comfort feature for CPAP machines that only offers slight pressure relief, whereas BiPAP pressure relief starts at 4 cm and goes up. For those who need only a little pressure relief, a CPAP with C-Flex might be the right choice.

Another difference between BiPAP and CPAP with C-flex is that the pressure relief from C-flex is not a fixed amount, and the pressure drop can vary from breath to breath, whereas the BiPAP maintains a set, prescribed exhalation pressure.

What’s Next?

Depending on the results of your CPAP titration study, more than likely your doctor and sleep technician will know outright if a BiPAP machine is right for you. However, if you’ve tried CPAP and find the pressure settings too difficult to manage exhaling against, talk with your doctor and see if a BiPAP machine is right for you.

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