Traditionally, obstructive sleep apnea has been treated by a CPAP sleep machine that uses mask ventilation to keep airways open while you sleep. CPAP machines for sleep apnea always deliver the same amount of air pressure, whereas BiPAP for sleep apnea is an alternative sleep therapy that uses two different amounts of air pressure to help you breathe.
What is BiPAP?
BiPAP is a respiratory therapy that stands for bilevel positive air pressure. Essentially, this means that the BiPAP machine for sleep apnea provides two different levels of ventilation depending on whether you are breathing in or breathing out.
When using BiPAP for sleep apnea, the sleep machine provides positive airway pressure to your airways including your nose, mouth and windpipe which keeps your airways open and allows air to flow through your lungs. The machine provides a higher level of pressure when you inhale and a lower level of pressure when you exhale. This BiPAP setting can be set based on timing or it will automatically adjust to your breathing patterns.
BiPAP for obstructive sleep apnea is often used in emergency or intensive care settings but can also be used in-home by people who suffer chronic breathing conditions and need breathing assistance while they sleep.
Benefits of BiPAP for Sleep Apnea Patients
BiPAP for Sleep Apnea provides many benefits for sleep apnea patients. While less common than a CPAP machine, BiPAP’s ability to provide a lower amount of air pressure when exhaling makes it easier for people using the machine to exhale, which is especially beneficial to people who had trouble exhaling when using a CPAP machine. It is also incredibly beneficial for people who need greater breathing support when they inhale because of the higher-pressure level.
Additionally, Bi-level PAP is a non-invasive ventilation treatment that can produce results. Invasive respiratory therapy provides support by having a positive pressure supplied by a tube inserted into the trachea or endotracheal. This form of oxygen therapy can be painful and cause anxiety. Whereas with a BiPAP machine, you simply wear a mask over your nose and mouth and have nothing inserted into your throat.
How BiPAP Works
This air pressure helps open your lungs and ensure that you keep breathing while you sleep, which can reduce the risk of a heart attack and other medical problems. It is important to regularly clean your BiPAP machine and make sure the air filter is clear each night. If properly maintained, a BiPAP machine may just be the sleep medicine you’ve been looking for to help your sleep apnea.