Which is better: CPAP or BIPAP machine for treating sleep apnea?

CPAP and BiPAP machines are the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatments. They offer a rapid solution to the pauses in breathing and are very effective cures. These machines are easy to use and small in size. Also, they can be easily carried while travelling that makes them likely treatment choices. So, in order to help out those sleep apnea patients who are wondering which of these is the best solution for them, we have mapped the differences. Have a look!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Before understanding the differences between BiPAP and CPAP machines that prove helpful in treating sleep apnea, first, let us learn about this disorder.

Sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing suddenly stops and starts while sleeping. The disorder has all the symptoms of a chronic illness and can adversely affect your health. If it goes untreated, it can cause problems like heart trouble, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and cardiomyopathy. Thus, it is vital to diagnose the disease early and begin its treatment.

What is a CPAP machine?

Also known as continuous positive airway pressure devices, CPAP machines are among the most recommended treatments for curing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The procedure helps in keeping his airway open and makes breathing possible. One can make several modifications to how the air is delivered to the patient to ensure a peaceful night of sleep.

  • How does CPAP work?

The device consists of a mask and tube that conveys the air delivered by the machine through the patient’s nostrils into the back of his throat. This air pressure remains constant in the case of CPAP machines and helps in clearing any obstruction in the patient’s airway. Thus, it aids people in breathing easily.

  • Who uses CPAP machines?

The CPAP machine is a well-known treatment for patients suffering from serious breathing ailments. It is recommended cure for obstructive sleep apnea patients as such people find it challenging to inhale enough oxygen on their own. Besides adults, CPAP machines are also suitable treatment options for children and infants who do not have fully developed lungs. The device supports the breathing process in these kids by blowing air into their lungs.

  • How big are CPAP machines?

All CPAP machines do not have the same weight or size. However, most of them are small and compact and can be carried easily. Which one should you opt for depends on several factors like your condition and where you will be using it. So, for example, while patients getting a CPAP machine to be used at home should consider getting a bigger size, people planning of travelling with it should opt for a compact option.

What is a BiPAP machine?

BiPAP machines are Bi-level or two-level Positive Airway Pressure devices. Like CPAP, they also deliver air through a tube and mask into the patient’s back of the throat. But, what makes them different from CPAP devices are two air pressures. While the CPAP machine delivers air at constant pressure, the BiPAP machines can maintain inhalation positive airway pressure (IPAP) and exhalation positive airway pressure (EPAP) for patient’s comfort and ease.

  • How does the BiPAP machine works?

The device features two settings and monitors your effort to inhale and exhale oxygen and carbon dioxide, respectively. So, when you stop breathing for a programmed period of time while resting, the BiPAP machine delivers air. This setting is usually called minimum breath or back-up rate that oversees the minimum breaths every minute. The technology helps ascertain that a person breaths a pre-determined number of breaths during his sleep.

  • Who uses BiPAP machines?

Patients who require additional breathing support are recommended to use this device. It proves helpful in treating people who have coronary artery disease/congestive heart failure and pulmonary or neurological medical disorders. Those with neuromuscular problems may also benefit by using a pressure differential BiPAP device.

  • How big is the BiPAP device?

The modern and advanced BiPAP machines are designed to be of the same size as the CPAP machines. These are compact and about the same dimensions as a lunchbox. Also, the BiPAP machines are quiet not to disturb the sleep of the patient and come with a humidifier to prevent drying of mucosal membranes. Since these machines feature additional settings and sensors, the generally cost twice of what you would pay for getting a CPAP machine.

Therefore, CPAP and BiPAP machines prove helpful for treating patients dealing with sleep apnea. They come with a range of integrated and after-market accessories to ensure easy and comfortable breathing. Although these devices perform a similar function, they are different from each other based on some features. Only after educating yourself about these dissimilarities, can you decide on a suitable treatment option.

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