The Pros and Cons Of Using A BiPAP Machine
BiPAP is an acronym that means bilevel positive airway pressure and Bipap machines are designed to make breathing easier for people who have sleep apnea or other breathing problems. They first were developed during the 1990s and were devised from another breathing machine called a CPAP, which means continuous positive airway pressure.
BiPAP machines are considered to be non-invasive and only are made to provide positive pressure during breathing. They can be set to time the breaths if needed and if someone doesn’t take a breath, it will force them to by increasing the air pressure.
Then, the pressure goes lower and adjusts to the individual and varies the air pressure to allow the person to breathe better and thus sleep better at night.
BiPAP systems are used if a doctor wants to avoid intubation of a patient and help get oxygen into the person’s lungs.
The machine doesn’t hurt and it should make the person feel much better since it helps them to breathe easier.
They are also small enough to put on the person’s bedside table at night and make very little noise so they don’t disturb others.
What do Bipap machines do?
BiPAP machines are designed so that the air coming through them can be put on one specific pressure setting for taking in a breath and another setting for exhaling.
This is in contrast to a CPAP machine, as it makes the breather have to work harder to exhale because of the additional pressure, so some people who have certain neuromuscular problems can’t use them very well. However, they can use the BiPap machines since it is easier.
BiPAP machines are also great for people who have lung diseases or congestive heart failure or for those who can’t be intubated. All of these kinds of patients are better off with the BiPap machines to help them breathe. Plus, if the victim has a collapsed lung, BiPap machines will also help them to get their lung to refill with air easier.
BiPap machines are common for sleep apnea patients too, which is a problem that makes the person’s airway collapse and close and so they stop breathing for several seconds several times a night. They usually snore and don’t sleep well.
Plus, they have concentration problems and other health issues if it isn’t treated. The BiPap can be set to react when it detects the person is not breathing, and then help them to get the air they need into their lungs.
Insurance may cover BiPAP machines
If a doctor decides that someone needs one of these BiPap machines, it is most likely covered by medical insurance, but if not, they can also rent a BiPap machine. This can be arranged by a respiratory care facility.
Who Else Can Benefit From BiPap Machines?
Doctors can run a test on a patient to see if they are better off with BiPap machines or CPAP machines. If a patient has a fairly elevated CPAP pressure setting, they are a good candidate for a BiPap machine.
This is because with CPAP the person would have to have such a high setting that it would be uncomfortable or even impossible for them to breath, while the BiPap machines are capable of helping with breathing and making it easier for them to cope with the pressure it produces. This is due to the fact they can have the high pressure they need for inhaling and have a low one for exhaling, whereas the CPAP machines only has one level for each setting.
BiPAP machines are good for people with a disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which damages the breathing muscles and nerves. The use of BiPap machines lets these patients stay independent as long as possible since it helps them to breathe better.
Potential Side Effects of BiPap Machines
While a BiPap machine doesn’t hurt, there can be some minor complications or side effects. These can include skin sores caused by the mask being around the face of the patient, soreness from the mask, and some bloating from swallowing lots of air. This causes some people to look for BiPap and CPAP alternatives. There are several brands and models of BiPap machines. They all have a humidifier type tank, mask and hose, as well as a power supply that you have to set up prior to using it.
Some of the other side effects may be:
Snoring – If this happens the pressure may be set incorrectly. Be sure that you know what the settings should be.
Mouth staying open– This is fixed if you wear a strap to keep the mask off or get a full face type mask.
Leaking masks – Be sure your mask is the right size and isn’t too old.
Nose Bleeds – May be caused by dryness and should subside.
Using a BiPap Machine
After you set it up and put it together, you plug it into the wall with an AC power cord, make sure the air tubing is connected properly and tight, and then fill the humidifier up with water. Put on the mask and turn it on.
When you first sleep with the mask on, it may seem strange and you will have to learn how to do it. This just takes some time and since it is meant to help you to breathe, it will actually help you sleep once you get used to wearing it at night. Be sure to have a properly fitted mask and this will be easier to do.
All in all BiPap machines are literally lifesavers for people with breathing problems and if you believe you or a loved one needs one, you should talk to a doctor for advice.