Having trouble breathing can affect your life dramatically. It can make even the simple things seem much more challenging and lead to anxiety, depression, mood swings, and sleep problems. If you are experiencing breathing problems, your doctor may recommend using a BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure machine) to help you breathe.
Many people are familiar with CPAP machines that are prescribed when one suffers from sleep apnea or another condition that affects their breathing, but you may not be familiar with a BiPAP machine or how it works. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what BiPAP machines are, when they are used, and how they work.
What is a BiPAP Machine?
BiPAP machines (also referred to as BiPAP ventilators) are non-invasive ventilation therapy that helps you breathe better. BiPAP machines are compact, about the size of a toaster, and can be used in hospitals or in your home.
It has a tube, nasal mask, face mask attached, and a motor to supply air through the tube. Some machines may also include a humidifier.
How Does it Work?
As you inhale, your diaphragm moves down, dropping the pressure in your lungs and drawing air into them. There are certain conditions that will not allow you to breathe in necessary air. A BiPAP machine pushes pressurized air into your lungs. This will enable you to get the oxygen you need.
BiPAP machines are called “bilevel” because they have two pressure settings (this is how a BiPAP machine differs from a CPAP machine which only has one level of air pressure). When you inhale, the machine delivers more air pressure, known as IPAP (inspiratory positive airway pressure). And when you exhale, the pressure is reduced, called EPAP (expiratory positive airway pressure). There are BiPAP machines on the market that allow you to set a time to ensure that you are getting a specific number of breaths each minute.
And since the machine monitors your breathing to deliver the proper air pressure, it reduces stress and will provide comfort as you sleep and breathe. Exhaling can also become easier by using a BiPAP machine.
How To Use a BiPAP Machine
A BiPAP machine can be used when you are sleeping or awake. You place the mask on your nose and mouth and adjust it so that it fits snug to your face to ensure that you receive the proper air pressure. When you inhale, the machine will provide you with air pressure, and when you exhale, the pressure will lower.
When To Use a BiPAP Machine
Conditions and situations that may warrant the use of a BiPAP machine include:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
- Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS)
- Congestive Heart Failure
- To correct breathing issues following surgery
- Neurological conditions
- Transitioning from a ventilator after a surgery or illness
Conditions that cause breathing problems all or most of the time, or if you have trouble swallowing, your doctor will likely recommend another device to help with your breathing.
Side Effects of Using a BiPAP Machine
A BiPAP machine is a safe option to help with breathing problems. You may, however, experience some side effects, which may include:
- Discomfort will typically go away as you use the machine
- Bloating can occur if too much air is breathed in constantly
- Dryness of your mouth and nose
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
- Irritation or dryness from your mask
If these side effects are troublesome, be sure to contact your doctor.
How Long Will You Have to Use It?
If your breathing and health issues improve, you may be able to lower the pressure on your BiPAP machine or even use it less frequently. However, it’s vital to follow your doctor’s instructions and work with them to make adjustments as needed.
Breathe Easy With DreamZz Sleep Center
A BiPAP machine can be a lifesaver when used correctly to treat the right condition. It’s essential to make sure you choose the right machine for your needs. Ensuring that you choose the correct machine may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. First, your doctor will likely recommend a machine or a specific model that will work best for you. And second, you have the Dream Team at DreamZz Sleep Center to turn to!
DreamZz Sleep Center is your one-stop shop for all your sleep medicine equipment and supplies. Of course, we can help you select and set up your CPAP/BiPAP machines, but we also offer accessories such as headgear, masks, filters, hoses, and water chambers. All equipment is from reputable brands such as Fisher & Paykel, Philips Respironics, and Resmed.
Contact us today to learn more.