BIPAP therapy is often used in place of CPAP machines due to the BIPAP settings.
CPAP machines will only feature one level of air pressure, which can make it uncomfortable to exhale against, causing more sleepless nights.
The BIPAP settings feature one high level of air pressure for inhaling and a lower setting for exhaling.
The Basics of BIPAP Settings
The BIPAP machine features two different levels of continuous air pressure.
When the device senses that the user’s inspiratory flow begins to increase, it will increase the inspiratory pressure, enhancing the air flow. When the device senses that the user’s breathing has slowed or stopped, it will reduce the level of applied air pressure, allowing the patient to breathe easier when exhaling.
This means that the patient will receive a higher pressure of air when inhaling, but they won’t have to work hard to breathe against the air pressure when they exhale.
Additionally, the BIPAP settings can be adjusted to deliver a fixed respiratory rate. The air flow is generated until the air pressure has reached a set target level of air pressure.
These devices are considered significantly more expensive than CPAP models.
These machines are very similar to CPAP machines in that this device runs quietly and is compact enough to travel with or fit on your nightstand. These devices come equipped with non-heated or heated humidifiers.
The masks that are available are either full face masks or nasal pillow masks.
The nasal pillow models are smaller in size and feature reduced pressure points, which helps to limit contact with the face. They’re available without or with chin support.
Some models of BIPAP machines will feature varying levels of air pressure that alternate on a timer. Spontaneous and timed models feature both technologies offered by the BIPAP machine.
The machine will sense the change in airflow and will cycle between inhaled and exhaled air pressures in response. The spontaneous mode will detect when the user inhales and increase the pressure, then it will decrease the pressure on exhale.
This device also includes a response if an apnea episode occurs and the user fails to breathe. In this situation, the machine will create high pressure airflow in order to stimulate breathing.
BIPAP Treatment Information for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
While the level of air pressure will shift when using BIPAP machines, CPAP machines only offer one constant level of pressure.
Because of this, BIPAP machines are recommended for patients with congestive heart failure, neuromuscular disease and different types of lung conditions.
If you think you may have sleep apnea and are interested in trying BIPAP therapy, you’ll need to meet with your doctor and possibly undergo a sleep study.
In America you must have a prescription in order to purchase CPAP or BIPAP machines and accessories. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of apnea treatment, however, not all of them cover the cost of a BIPAP machine.
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