Sleep apnea is serious.
How can you not take something serious that wakes you up 30-40 times in an hour or through the night due to a deficiency of oxygen?
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this type the inner parts of the mouth, as well as the nose, get to rest in sleeping and block or narrow down the air pathway, leaving the patient with a deficiency of oxygen.
The brain senses that deficiency and wakes you up. This continues to happen over 30-40 times in an hour or varies from patient to patient.
For those suffering from sleep apnea, CPAP is a common term. CPAP devices along with many exercises are the only way to cure.
The most common treatment that sleep apnea patients get is a CPAP machine or continuous positive air pressure.
It is a box that pressurized the room air and delivers it to the patient through a mask to prevent its inner mouth parts from blocking airways.
In the early stage of sleep apnea, the patients might not recognize or take it as a disorder.
They might take it as a nightmare, but if you look at the most common symptoms, which include waking up multiple times in sleeping for no reason, waking up gasping for breath, or headache in the morning, one should take it seriously and head towards proper healing or solution.
If you too are diagnosed with sleep apnea disorder and are recommended to buy a CPAP machine by your medical expert or doctor.
It is imperative for you to learn about CPAP and other types of machines. To learn the basic differences, it is important we explain both the machine and derive the difference for better understanding.
What is CPAP, and its basics?
CPAP (Continuous positive air pressure) machine delivers pressurized air into patients’ airways to prevent airways from closing due to inner mouth soft tissues resting on the airway.
The CPAP machine usually comes with 4-20 cm H20 pressure and makes patients adjust the pressure as per their use. This continuous pressure provides breathing allowing them to avoid the pause in the breath.
CPAP machines pump at one pressure setting through the night, with no varying inhale or exhale pressure.
This same or constant inhale and exhale pressure makes some patients find it hard to exhale at the same pressure at which they are inhaling. They can’t exhale their breath, thus leading to choking.
related: what to do with old CPAP machine
What are BiPAP machines and their basics?
BiPAP or Bi-level positive air pressure machines come with two air pressure, one for inhalation and the other for exhalation.
Patients can set the inhalation as well as exhalation pressure, allowing users to breathe more naturally using a machine.
Compare to CPAP machines BiPAP machines come with some advanced settings.
BiPAP machines come with spontaneous switching which lets the machine automatically sense the breathing pattern and automatically set the inhalation and exhalation pressure rather than rely on the setting.
Difference between CPAP and BiPAP machines?
CPAP and BiPAP machines both are designed to provide positive air pressure. Both use the room air, pressurized the air, and through a hose and tube deliver it to the patient while sleeping through a mask.
This pressurized air prevents the inner mouth or soft tissues of the mouth or nasal to narrow down or close the air pathway which leads to oxygen deficiency or breathing gasping.
CPAP machines come with adjustable pressure settings that can deliver pressure between 4 to 29 cm H20.
You can adjust the pressure of the machine, but that will be the same for inhaling and exhaling. Like, if it is a slow 10 CM H2O pressure setting, you will be inhaling and exhaling this pressure.
The thing is most of the time, the patients can keep it up with the CPAP machine, and the exhale rate of humans is slower than the inhale rate.
There come the BiPAP machines with two pressure; inhale and exhale pressure. Regardless of the basic pressure set to 10-20 CM, you can also adjust the Inhalation positive airway pressure called IPAP and exhalation positive airway pressure called EPAP.
So, you can set the EPAP slower than IPAP, to make it good comfortable for the patient.
The BiPAP machine with an automatic setting can also automatically change the inhalation and exhalation pressure with respect to the breathing of the patient.
CPAP machines too are upgrading, latest or most modern CPAP machines now come with a setting that allows lowers exhalation than inhalation. But it would not be a perfect setting for EPAP and IPAP on a BiPAP machine.
The biggest benefit of having a CPAP machine is that it can be traveled with. If you travel a lot and have to spend nights on the road, you can take them with you.
There are compact models called travel CPAP, you can buy one and get things rolled.
On the other hand, BiPAP machines are only designed to be used at home. Because they require additional sensors and settings, that’s why they can’t design as compact and thus can’t be taken with. Plus, they are double the cost of CPAP machines.
If you are suffering from OSA, it is highly possible that your medical doctor recommends CPAP machines, rather than BiPAP machines.
A sleep specialist is unlikely to put an OSA patient on BiPAP unless the patient can’t tolerate CPAP machines.
BiPAP machines are primarily used for central sleep apnea, or any other lung or heat conditions. That requires airway support during sleeping.
BiPAP and CPAP what should you buy?
CPAP and BiPAP machines look similar, come with the same equipment, supplies, and tubes, and get attached to the same in the same way. But the difference as I mentioned above is in pressure settings.
The CPAP machine in real I used for obstructive sleep apnea, whereas the BiPAP machine is used for Central sleep apnea, or other lung or heart condition.
If you look at the features and advantages, anyone can clearly witness it’s the BiPAP machine that stands out.
But, BiPAP is not for everyone, it’s your doctor or medical expert who can recommend telling you the type of machine you should use.
It also depends on the personal liking if the medical expert leaves it to you. But in general, it has been noticed that BiPAP machine is often used by patients with no tolerance for CPAP machines and exhalation.