Just when you thought you had this whole sleep apnea problem beat because you’re getting into the groove of using your CPAP machine, you hear about this other kind of therapy. So, what is BiPAP vs. CPAP?
BiPAP is a term that was trademarked by a manufacturer named Respironics. It stands for bilevel positive airway pressure. You might have also heard of VPAP, which is the trademark of another company, ResMed. It’s basically the same sort of therapy, just different branding. Both of these are a bit different from the CPAP you’re using.
The Bi in BiPAP stands for bilevel, and it refers to the air pressure running through your machine. Bi- means two, so no surprise, there are two levels of air pressure running through a BiPAP machine. You’ll get one level of pressure as you inhale, and a lower level of air pressure as you exhale. It makes exhaling a bit easier.
BiPAP is more likely to be prescribed for patients who have central sleep apnea, which means you have gaps in your breathing that are not caused by an obstructed airway. Your BiPAP machine is attuned to how many breaths you should be taking each moment, noticing when you’re missing one. It then compensates for these breathless moments by essentially breathing for you in those gaps.
With a CPAP machine, you’ve got continuous positive airway pressure. That means it’s always the same level of air pressure, whether you’re inhaling or exhaling.
The equipment – other than the machine itself – is the same for BiPAP and CPAP. CPAP is prescribed for people who have sleep apnea that’s caused by the collapse of soft tissues in the mouth and throat causing gaps in the breathing pattern. Some CPAP machines include a ramp feature that lets you start the night with a lower pressure and gradually build up to your prescribed air pressure level, where it’ll stay for the rest of the night.
Possibly, depending on the type of sleep apnea you have – and how well you’re doing on CPAP therapy. If the air pressure setting your doctor prescribes is exceptionally high or your oxygen levels are low, BiPAP might be a better solution for you. Sometimes patients who’ve had a hard time adjusting to CPAP do better on BiPAP – especially those who have congestive heart failure or other cardiopulmonary challenges. If you think BiPAP would work better for you than CPAP, switching will require a physician’s approval – but that’s easy to get, and we can help you with that.
Whether you’re using CPAP or BiPAP, what works best is staying on your treatment plan without gaps. The nights you don’t use your machine, you don’t get the easy-breathing sleep you need.
That’s why we’re here. At CPAPMyWay.com, we understand how important it is to have easy, affordable access to the disposable supplies you need – without having to jump through a bunch of hoops to get them. With our simple CPAP auto-ship program, you can choose the supplies you want us to send you each month – and you can add in extras whenever you need them – and we’ll deliver them right to your door so you never miss a night of therapy.
Unlike when you go through your insurance company’s preferred providers, you get to choose exactly which supplies you want. You’ll be surprised to find out how much you can save, even while getting your supplies faster – and without the hassle you’d otherwise face every time you needed to get more. That’s how we think it should be – and we’re always happy to help you if you need advice.