All About The BiPAP Machine

Treatment of Sleep Apnoea Using a BiPAP Machine

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines are devices that are used for the treatment of sleep apnoea. They are also known as Variable Positive Airway Pressure (VPAP) machines. The major function of these devices is to force air through the patients’ nostrils and to control the air pressure when they exhale. This ensures that a proper balance is maintained. The air forced down a patient’s airway is pressurized to prevent throat tissues from collapsing.

These devices are quite similar to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, although they have some essential features that make them a more attractive option to some patients.

How Does the Machine Work?

The machine has a small pump that is secured over the mouth of a patient via a mask. It monitors breath and controls the kind of pressure needed by a patient for breathing in and out. It has a humidifier that assists in keeping skin around the nostrils moist. It acts more like a ventilator as it doesn’t necessarily assist in natural breathing. However, it keeps the lungs active by assisting in artificial breathing.

The major difference between a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machine and the CPAP machine is that the former can control the pressure being administered while the latter cannot. When a patient breathes out, pressure is lowered. When breathing in, pressure is increased.

Patients who previously used CPAP machines and switched to Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machines find it easier to breathe. CPAP machines usually have a continuous administration of pressure making a patient feel uncomfortable.

The machines are usually used to treat obstructive sleep apnoea; but when combined with other treatment options, they become a good cure for central sleep apnoea.

The downside of these machines is that their cost is usually high and patients may feel uncomfortable wearing the mask. However, most patients overlook these disadvantages because using the BiPAP makes them sleep better throughout the night.

These sleep apnoea treatment machines also come with one of three types of masks, which are:

Nasal mask – This type of mask is suitable for people who have difficulty sleeping. They are convenient to use as they are portable.

Oral mask – This is a humidifier type of mask, essential for people who sleep with their mouths open. It helps prevent your mouth from drying.

Triangular mask – This type easily fits any face shape.

BiPAP machines have three main functions:

They improve overall oxygenation in the body by helping in breathing.

They improve heart function of a patient.

They reduce the effort of your lungs in breathing.

Such a device is normally fixed by qualified doctors. They determine the pressure that will be required to help patients breath naturally and normally throughout the night. Moreover, doctors can allow a patient to stop using the mask for a few days, if the patient experiences any problems with the mask. If you’re in need of it, you can purchase the machine after you’re given a prescription by your doctor.