Positive airway pressure (PAP) is one of the most often used therapies for sleep apnea, a respiratory condition that affects 3% to 7% of the population. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common PAP procedure, but for certain patients, bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) is a safer alternative.
While all types of PAP therapy function in the same manner, their nuances mean that each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks to consider. As a result, switching PAP therapies should still be done in consultation with the healthcare staff.
How Do CPAP and BiPAP Machines Differ?
Both CPAP and BiPap Machine uses compressed air to clear and sustain the airway when sleeping. The pressurized air is generated by a portable machine and delivered to the user’s airway by a hose and mask device. Masks, hoses, and other accessories are the same for all devices.
CPAP machines have a pressure setting that can range from 4 to 20 cm H2O, depending on whether the user is inhaling or exhaling. Exhalation positive airway pressure (EPAP) and inhalation positive airway pressure (IPAP) are two pressure settings on BiPAP machines that allow for lower pressure levels during exhalation. The transition between IPAP and EPAP can be timed or automatic based on the user’s breathing patterns, depending on the BiPAP machine’s settings. The pressure level on BiPAP machines is usually 4 to 25 cm H2O.