BIPAP (Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure) Therapy
BIPAP therapy is a modified form of traditional CPAP therapy, the most preferred method of treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Normally, a CPAP user will sleep next to a machine designed to increase air pressure inside the patient’s mouth and throat through a CPAP mask worn throughout the night. Most patients do not complain that the machine is too noisy, and there are different machine models available so sleep apnea patients can find the best fit for them. The idea behind CPAP masks is to make it easier for people to breathe because the passage ways are kept open. However, some CPAP patients find it difficult to exhale while wearing the CPAP mask, which may cause stress and make it hard to sleep soundly, if at all. This sometimes causes CPAP users to be inconsistent with their sleep disorder treatment (not wearing the CPAP masks every night) and possibly worsening their own sleep apnea symptoms.
BIPAP was created to remedy the problem with breathing against the increased pressure created by CPAP technology. BIPAP machines have two special pressure settings, as opposed to the one available on CPAP machines. With BIPAP, the patient can choose what pressure to breathe in and what pressure to breathe out. This way, the BIPAP user is able to personalize his or her device and make it more comfortable for personal use, which hopefully makes it easier treat sleep apnea consistently.
Advantages and Disadvantages of BIPAP
BIPAP technology is also a safer option than CPAP for patients who have other health problems, such as a history of heart failure or lung disease. In fact, the adjustable pressure settings could actually be beneficial for the lungs.
Wearing a CPAP mask or a BIPAP mask (essentially the same) can still be hard to get used to; it may take more than a week before you feel comfortable sleeping with a mask on. With time, however, many patients learn that the perks of being able to sleep deeply and soundly because your breathing throughout the night is regular really outweighs any initial discomfort associated with the actual machine. Talk to a sleep expert at a sleep center today if you have questions about obstructive sleep apnea and would like to use a BIPAP machine. Although many CPAP machines and BIPAP machines are expensive, many insurances companies to cover it. Sleep apnea can lead to poor performance and eventual medical illness if left untreated for too long.