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BIPAP vs CPAP What?s the Difference?

Cpap machine effectiveness

For those suffering from sleep apnea, the use of a CPAP machine may be overwhelming. Many who are new to CPAP machines often find the mask, tubes, and sounds of the machine disconcerting or the continuous positive airway pressure sent through the CPAP mask difficult to exhale against. Exhaling difficulty may lead to anxiety, which then might cause a sleep apnea sufferer not to use their CPAP machine.

However, not using your CPAP machine when you suffer from sleep apnea can be dangerous. Obstructed breathing during the sleep cycle has the ability to cause various health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke due to the lack of oxygen in the blood caused by the lack of breathing. During an average night, a sleep apnea sufferer may suffer from obstructed breathing nearly 60 times an hour and, if left untreated, a sleep apnea sufferer is three times more likely to develop heart disease.

Using your CPAP machine is necessary for your health, but if using your CPAP machine causes too much discomfort regarding exhalation, a BIPAP machine may be the better option.

What is a BIPAP machine?

A BIPAP machine, standing for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, is a non-invasive form of therapy for sleep apnea sufferer much like the CPAP machine. A BIPAP machine sends pressurized air through a BIPAP mask, similar to a CPAP mask, into the airway of the sleep apnea sufferer to keep the patient?s throat muscles from collapsing during the sleep cycle, effectively protecting the patient from sleep obstruction.

BIPAP vs CPAP: Why should I use a BIPAP machine if I didn?t like my CPAP machine?

Sleep apnea sufferers may find the CPAP machine uncomfortable because of the continuous air pressure being forced into their airways, which may be difficult to exhale against, making the sufferer feel as if they can?t get air out. A BIPAP machine is a good alternative for those who may feel too uncomfortable using their CPAP machine because the BIPAP has two pressure settings: IPAP and EPAP. IPAP is the prescribed inhalation pressure, which reduces obstructive breathing, and EPAP is a lowered pressure for the use of exhalation, allowing the patient to comfortably exhale.

BIPAP vs CPAP: Are two air pressure settings the only difference between a BIPAP and CPAP machine?

BIPAP machines not only have two pressure setting, but can measure the breaths of the sleep apnea sufferer. If the amount of elapsed time between the breaths of the patient goes over a set limit, which is a typical sign of an apnea episode, the BIPAP machine can then increase the air pressure in the mask to get the patient to breathe normally again.

BIPAP vs CPAP: Is the lowered air pressure of a BIPAP machine a good reason to switch over from a CPAP machine?

Using a CPAP machine with a C-Flex offers relief of air pressure up to 3 cm, which may be all that?s needed for those using a CPAP machine who find the pressurized air only slightly difficult to exhale against. However, for those who experience more discomfort and feel that they?re fighting the CPAP machine for exhalation and therefore need less pressurized air, the BIPAP machine relieves air pressure up to 4 cm and even higher.

BIPAP vs CPAP: Should I use a BIPAP machine even if I don?t feel discomfort with my CPAP?

CPAP machines are a highly effective treatment of sleep apnea; there?s no need to switch if you don?t feel discomfort using it. However, if you have low oxygen levels, a cardiopulmonary disorder, neuromuscular disorder, or lung disorder a BIPAP machine may be more helpful to you.

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