BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure), also called a BPAP, is a non-invasive type of therapy for individuals struggling with sleep apnea or any other condition that affects their breathing. It is a machine that helps patients with such conditions to breathe.
When you breathe in, your diaphragm usually moves in a downward hence dropping the pressure in the sacs and tubes in your lungs. The low pressure helps to draw air into the lungs and fill them with oxygen. However, individuals with sleep apnea or other breathing conditions usually find it hard to draw in the air that they need. This happens mostly while they are sleeping.
If you experience such breathing problems, your doctor or physician may prescribe the use of a BiPAP. The device is not that big, it is almost the size of a lunchbox, and it has nasal plugs, a nasal mask, and a facemask attached to it by a tube. It has a motor that blows air via the tube, which in turn enters the patient’s body through the plugs and mask. The machine helps to push pressurized air into the lungs. This, in turn, opens your lungs and allows oxygen to get in, thus reducing your chances of experiencing life-threatening cases such as a heart attack.
For most patients, using a BPAP machine at first feels uncomfortable, but they get used to it over time. However, if you still feel like you are unable to breathe while using the device, you should reach out to your doctor immediately. Sometimes the problem may be the settings on the device.
Why You Need A BPAP
Doctors recommend a BiPAP for patients with a medical issue that impairs their breathing. You might need to use the positive pressure ventilator if you are struggling with any of the following conditions
• Obstructive sleep apnea (which is a severe medical condition where a patient’s breathing stops and starts over and over while they are asleep.)
• Obesity hypoventilation syndrome
• Neurological disease (which affects breathing)
• Asthma flare-up
• COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder)
• Poor breathing following an operation or any other medical condition
• Congestive heart failure
When Not To Use A BPAP
If you are experiencing problems swallowing, extremely low breathing or reduced consciousness, a BPAP may not be the ideal device for you. This is because you might need a machine that has a tube, which can be inserted down your throat or a tracheostomy, which is a procedure that makes an airwar in your windpipe.
The Difference between A BPAP and Other Breathing Devices
Apart from a BPAP are numerous ventilators out there that utilize positive pressure to help patients with their breathing conditions. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is another prominent breathing machine. When using these devices, you get positive air pressure when you breathe both in and out. However, with a BPAP, the pressure is higher when you breathe in. the CPAP provides the same pressure throughout. As such, it is easier to breathe out while using the BPAP compared to while using the CPAP. Your physician can perform a sleep study to determine the most suitable breathing machine for you.
How Long Does One Use The Device?
You should strictly follow the instruction of your physician on how and when to use your device. After a while, when your breathing starts to improve, you may not need it frequently. Again, you may also reduce the pressure on your BPAP. Your doctor will monitor your condition and inform you when it’s time to make adjustments.