What is the difference between CPAP vs BiPAP?

Positive airway pressure treatment, which utilizes compressed air to open and maintain the airway during sleep, is provided by CPAP and BiPAP equipment. The pressurized air is generated by a portable machine and delivered to the user's airway through a hose and mask system. The same masks, hoses, and other accessories are used in both systems.

The greatest CPAP machines offer an adjustable pressure setting that provides between 4 and 20 cm H2O (centimeters of water pressure) regardless of whether the user is breathing or exhaling. BiPAP devices offer two pressure settings that allow for lower pressure levels during exhalation: inhalation positive airway pressure (IPAP) and exhalation positive airway pressure (EPAP).

While most CPAP machines only have one setting, certain models now feature sensors that allow for softer exhale air pressure. In contrast to the EPAP setting on BiPAP devices, the exhalation pressure cannot be changed by the user and is only slightly lower than the total pressure setting.

Portable CPAP devices are suited for travel, whilst BiPAP machines are designed for usage at home. BiPAP devices are often double the price of a comparable CPAP machine since they require extra sensors and settings.

Although CPAP and BiPAP devices may appear to be comparable, the differences might have a major impact on your therapy. As a result, switching from one to another should always be decided by your healthcare team.

CPAP users typically go through an adjustment phase before becoming comfortable with their equipment. Adjusting settings, experimenting with temperature control accessories or other mask types, or utilizing a machine that slightly decreases air pressure on the exhale can all help to alleviate discomfort. BiPAP therapy is offered for individuals who do not tolerate CPAP therapy, but it must be agreed on and monitored by a sleep expert.