BiPAP stands for bi-level positive airway pressure. A BiPAP machine differs from a CPAP machine in that the air pressure is variable, not continuous. There is one level of air pressure for when the patient inhales (inspiratory positive airway pressure) and lower level of air pressure on the exhale (expiratory positive airway pressure). Some patients have problems with CPAP because they find it difficult to exhale against the continuous air pressure. BiPAP, with it’s lower air pressure on exhale, is easier for these patients. PatientSleepSupplies.com carries many models of BiPAP machines.
Positive airway pressure has shown to be an effective therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. OSA patients struggle to sleep well because they have difficulties breathing during sleep. When the OSA patient sleeps, the airway muscles become very relaxed and collapse, creating an obstructed airway.
The obstructed airway causes breathing interruptions, which awaken the patient or takes the patient out of deep sleep. As a result, the OSA patient is constantly feeling tired and irritable from lack of sleep.
Positive airway pressure applied to the airway prevents the airway from collapsing and allowing the patient to breathe and to maintain sleep. Positive airway pressure therapy has proven to be very successful in the treatment of OSA and allows people to sleep more regularly.
Most people requiring positive airway pressure therapy undertake CPAP, where the air pressure is continuous. Some patients find it difficult to exhale against the air pressure and need to use bi-level positive airway pressure, where the air pressure is lowered when the patient needs to exhale. This makes exhalation easier and the therapy more comfortable for these patients.
Other than the differences of air pressure levels, CPAP and BiPAP work on the same principles. Hose and masks designed for positive airway pressure therapy will work for both CPAP and BiPAP machines.
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