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What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP? Do you pick CPAP or BiPAP? Explained.

What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP? Do you pick CPAP or BiPAP? Explained.

CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the best treatment possible for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. By delivering specific air pressure at continuous flow through a hose and finally a mask. This effect emulates a pneumatic splint, keeping your airway open with your tongue out of the way. CPAP pressures must be determined for each patient with titration of pressure during sleep. In the majority of obstructive sleep apnea cases, a CPAP machine will suffice, and most people can easily adjust to breathing out against the back pressure within the first few weeks. A small portion of CPAP users will experience difficulty adjusting to the therapy due to the back pressure.

All modern CPAP machines have a built-in feature that allows for air pressures to start at below therapeutic levels to enable the user to fall asleep; the air pressure will gradually increase to therapeutic as time passes.

CPAP composition:

CPAP machines are composed of 3 major components.

Motor – A small compressor that intakes ambient air and pressurizes it to deliver the required air pressure to keep the airway open. There are filters in the intake section to filter the air. The latest model of CPAP machines have a means by which. CPAP motors are extremely quiet and do not create much noise above a hum. Some newer model CPAP machines have a built-in humidifier.

Hoses – The hose is merely how pressurized air from the motor is sent to the user. Hoses are usually 6 feet length although different lengths are available. The diameter of the hose also depends on the machine. Machines with humidifiers are heated to reduce water condensation.

Mask – CPAP masks come in various shapes and sizes for different machines. The three most common mask types are nasal pillows, nasal masks, and full-face masks. Finding a mask that you are comfortable with is the most critical part of CPAP compliance.

BiPAP – Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure

BIPAP or Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure is almost the same as CPAP therapy. The main difference being that BiPAP machines allow for different pressures during treatment for inhalation and exhalation. Some CPAP machines do offer pressure relief of up to 3 cm H2O, whereas BiPAP pressure relief starts at 4 cm H2O. BiPAP machines deliver higher pressure as the user breathes in and reduces pressure during exhalation. BiPAP machines are normally used to treat COPD, among other ailments.

The best way to be certain about which machine best suits your needs is to undergo a full sleep study. This study can be conducted at a sleep lab or in the comfort of your own home.



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Sleep Apnea and its Common Misconceptions


What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a condition that affects a large portion of the adult population worldwide. The concern arises from the fact that many misconceptions are linked to the disorder. Estimates show that 1 in 5 adults in alone suffer from sleep apnea and are not aware that they are affected by it. It is considered harmless, and the dangers associated with it are not well known by the masses. The risks associated with the disorder are highly dangerous if left undiagnosed and untreated.

What are some of the general misconceptions related to Sleep Apnea?

  1. Snoring is nothing to worry about – Snoring is widely regarded as a key factor in identifying Sleep Apnea. Chronic Snoring is the most commonly diagnosed symptom indicating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and if left undetected can lead to a reduction of life expectancy.


  1. Sleep Apnea only affects men – People assume that snoring is normal for the average adult male and thereby believe that Sleep Apnea only affects men. The truth is that Sleep Apnea is not restricted to any one age group or gender. Sleep apnea also affects weight gain if undiagnosed, those with obesity have a higher risk of developing Sleep Apnea and this, in turn, can lead to a worsening of the Apnea. Those within a healthy weight bracket are not risk-free. Individuals with healthy weight have also been diagnosed.


  1. Sleep Apnea is nothing to worry about – Untreated Sleep Apnea can pose a myriad of health risks, ranging from heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents.


  1. Sleep Diagnosis can only be diagnosed in a lab – A common misconception is that sleep apnea can only be diagnosed in a laboratory. Leading to apprehension among people and often leads to them avoiding even getting a diagnosis. The alternative that provides for a comfortable diagnosis is home sleep testing. There is no reduction in the efficiency of the test, and it can be conducted in the comfort of your bedroom.


  1. I do not have sleep apnea because I do not snore – The belief that, only people who snore can be affected by sleep apnea is a myth. Snoring is only one of the possible signs that a person has OSA. Daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, weight gain or being overweight, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, waking up with a headache, sore throat or a dry mouth are things to look out for if you suspect you have OSA


If you have noticed that you have some of these symptoms or someone you know has these symptoms, it is advisable you visit a sleep lab or access a home sleep test. Detecting, diagnosing and treating, Obstructive Sleep Apnea early will lead to an increase in your mood and energy levels, ultimately to a better quality of life.