CPAP vs BiPAP? What’s the Difference and Which Is Best for You?
Did you know that you have options when it comes to the mask used with a sleep apnea machine?
Many people with sleep apnea are used to hearing about the CPAP mask that originally accompanied a CPAP machine. But over the years, developers have created some new masks, including CPAP and BiPAP, as well as a variety of other traditional CPAP mask alternatives.
What is the difference between CPAP vs BiPAP, and the other types of masks? Is one better than all the others?
Before delving into which mask you should purchase, it’s important to get really clear on what sleep apnea is and why you need CPAP masks in the first place.
What Is Sleep Apnea? The Causes of This Dangerous Condition
Simply put, sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway. Typically, the obstruction is the soft tissue in the throat and back of the mouth.
As the muscles in your body relaxwhen you fall asleep, the muscles in your head and neck relax as well.
This can result in the soft tissues collapsing just enough to obstruct the airway.
Because of this obstruction, people with sleep apnea will stop breathing for several seconds at a time. They end up doing this multiple times every minute.
If your partner has ever told you that it sounds like you stop breathing and then gasp for breath – in addition to making really loud snoring sounds throughout the night – you probably have sleep apnea.
CPAP vs BiPAP – Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Treat Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a life threatening condition. People have actually died in their sleep because they stop breathing and don’t start up again.
Besides the breathing issues, sleep apnea can cause a plethora of other health problems. These include:
• Irregular heartbeat
• Weight gain and increased risk of diabetes
• High blood pressure, heart disease, and the increased risk for a heart attack
• Increase risk of car accidents due to driving while drowsy (sleep apnea patients are five times more likely to end up in a car accident than people with a normal sleeping routine).
Because the body isn’t getting the oxygen it requires for optimal function, you’ll wake up tired and struggle to get through the day.
You’re really not getting a good night’s sleep. The sleep is, in essence, interrupted all night long. You don’t get the deep sleep you really need, and this results in sleep debt.
CPAP vs BiPAP Masks and Other Sleep Solutions: Which Option Is Best for You?
Sleep apnea puts the body under a tremendous amount of stress, which is why disease develops.
In order to prevent new or worsening conditions and to pay off some of your sleep debt, consider some of these sleep solutions.
The CPAP Machine – Why Sleep Associations Recommend It – CPAP vs BiPAP
This machine, in conjunction with CPAP masks, has been the go-to treatment for patients with sleep apnea for a while now.
The CPAP machine uses pressurized air to deliver oxygen to the airway. Use of CPAP masks will result in a better night’s sleep, less snoring sounds, and increased energy throughout the day.
Why the BiPAP Machine Might be Best for Your Needs Which should you choose – CPAP vs BiPAP
The two masks are very similar. You just need to choose the one that fits your needs the best.
If you have neurological or respiratory disorders that make it difficult to breathe, you might want to get the BiPAP mask.
One of the CPAP machine side effects is that it can make it hard for people with these conditions to exhale. In fact, many of them feel like they have to force the breath out of their mouth.
This is not conducive to deep sleep. The BiPAP machine has a timer and multiple air pressure levels that make it easier and more comfortable to exhale.
Other Sleep Solutions to Consider
Besides the CPAP and BiPAP machines, there are other sleep solutions that might help you reduce your sleep debt and snoring sounds. These solutions have been encouraged by various sleep associations.
At the 2017 Sleep Conference, new devices and solutions were promoted.
For example, at SLEEP 2017, the sleep associations and practitioners discussed innovative sleep and circadian rhythm technology.
One such high-tech tool that’s gaining popularity is the sleep cycle alarm system.
This is a tool that analyzes your sleep and wakes you up when you’re in a light, non-REM phase (as opposed to REM, or deep sleep when it’s harder to wake up).
Your doctor likely has information about the best sleep solutions, including the best anti-snoring device currently on the market and steps you can take to combat sleep apnea and weight gain.
CPAP vs BiPAP
One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Find the Sleep Solution That Fits Your Unique Health Needs
Have you ever purchased an article of clothing that was labeled “one size fits all”? How well did it fit?
In many cases, those pieces don’t fit very well. At the very least, they’re not very flattering. The worst case scenario is, though, that the piece just doesn’t fit at all. Sleep solutions can be the same way.
Each person has their own physiology. Yes, everyone has the same basic set-up when it comes to the human body and how it functions. But each person has their own little markers of individuality.
These markers make us unique, but they can also make it difficult to find solutions to medical issues like sleep apnea.
What works for one person – or even thousands of people – won’t necessarily work for you. That’s why it’s important to discuss your needs, lifestyle, and preferences with your doctor. Together, you can find a solution that suits you the best – the solution that will bring you the results you want.
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