Can I use BiPAP instead of CPAP for sleep apnea?

This question was asked in Center Grove, Iowa on 04/01/2013.
Can I use BiPAP instead of CPAP for sleep apnea? My overnight oximetry was below 90 92% of the time of the sleep study.

Doctors Answers (4)

Daron Scherr, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/5/2013 1

Yea, A BiPAP is a more advanced device that can do everything the CPAP does plus more.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 4/2/2013 1

Yes, you can use a BiPAP even if CPAP was used in the sleep lab. The settings are important and must be determined by a physician. If your oxygen levels are below 90% for 92% of the night you may be suffering from a "hypoventilation" syndrome which can be caused by lung or heart disease or obesity and oxygen may be necessary along with the BiPAP or CPAP.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 4/2/2013 1

That depends entirely on you and your disorder. Typcially a BiPAP is ordered if you cannot tolerate CPAP. Your required pressure is also a consideration.

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 4/2/2013 1

BiPAP can be used to treat sleep apnea just as CPAP. In some cases, however, the insurance carrier will require a statement of medical necessity as to why the patient was unable to tolerate or be treated with CPAP as the cost of the BiPAP is significantly higher. Ask your local sleep professional about expiratory pressure relief. Most CPAP devices now have a built in pressure relief that can be used for patients who have difficulty exhaling against positive pressure. The results of your oximetry would not have any bearing as to whether or not you would be better treated with BiPAP as opposed to CPAP.