What is CPAP?


There are two different devices that can be used to treat sleep apnoea: continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure machines. CPAP works by blowing pressurized air at a constant pressure through a patient’s airway. This helps prevent the throat from collapsing.

  • Features of a CPAP Machine

    A CPAP machine is very simple and easy to use. It’s made up of three parts:

      1. CPAP motor – This is a very small compressor which draws in air and pressurizes it, thus delivering the right amount of air pressure that’s needed to clear your throat. Newer versions of CPAP devices come with a water tank which helps in adding moisture to the air a patient breathes in. These particular versions are ideal for people living in dry
      2. CPAP hoses – This is a device that delivers pressurized air from the motor to the mask. The standard length for these hoses is 6 feet, although the diameter varies depending on the kind of machine you are using. Newer versions of these machines come with heated hoses that help in preventing moisture condensation caused by the humidifiers.
      3. CPAP mask – This part of the machine varies depending on the preferences of the user; hence they are available in different shapes and sizes. There are three types of masks you can choose from: nasal masks, full face masks and nasal pillows. It is very important that you choose a mask that is comfortable enough for you.
  • Results to Expect After Using CPAP

    Such a machine can produce various benefits:

      1. You will find that you no longer snore or have any breathing obstructions.
      2. If you were suffering from high blood pressure, you will find your blood pressure levels significantly reduced.
      3. The grogginess and fatigue you experienced as a result of sleep apnoea will be gone. Instead, you will find yourself more alert throughout the day.
      4. CPAP helps in eliminating any chances you had of developing a heart attack or stroke.
      5. Because your breathing is no longer obstructed, you will find that your quality of sleep has improved greatly.
  • What is Sleep Apnoea?

    Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder that affects about one in every fifteen people. It arises when a person’s breathing during sleep is interrupted. It may happen once or even multiple times in one night. This condition is dangerous because it means that the brain and other parts of the body will not get enough oxygen.

    Sleep apnoea comes in two forms: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and central sleep apnoea, with the former being more common than the latter. OSA happens when the airway passage is blocked by collapsed soft tissue found in the back of the throat.

    If left untreated for a long time, it can cause other conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, headaches, heart failure and irregular heartbeats. Because the body is not being supplied with enough oxygen and their brain is experiencing disrupted quality sleep, a person often feels sluggish leading to poor performance in daily activities. Hence, necessitating treatment using a CPAP Machine.

What is a BIPAP or VPAP Machine?


A Bilevel positive airway pressure BiPAP machine is a device that is used to help people with respiratory conditions which may extend to sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea refers to a condition whereby a person’s breathing is interrupted during the night. It may happen once or several times. It’s dangerous if not detected and treated soon enough.

  • How BIPAP Works

    BIPAP delivers pressurized air into a person’s passageway, just like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The downside with a CPAP machine, as reported by patients, is that it’s often hard to exhale against pressurized air being delivered through the mask. BiPAP, on the other hand, offers two different pressures: one for inhaling and a slightly lower pressure for exhaling.

    Popular CPAP brands include Resmed (Airsense 10 machine), Devilbiss Healthcare and Transcend, Philips Respironics (Dreamstation) and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare (Icon+).

  • Three modes in which a BiPAP machine works:
      1. Timed – This mode switches the device between inspiratory and expiratory, in a programmed manner that helps maintain a certain number of prescribed breaths per minute.
      2. Spontaneous – In this mode, the machine is able to sense when a person switches between inspiratory and expiratory breathing, and adjusts accordingly.
      3. Spontaneous/ timed – Here, the machine essentially switches depending on a patient’s breathing. At the same time, it has a timed mode that is used as back up in order to maintain the required breaths per minute a patient is supposed to take.


    Before using any mode, it’s important that you consult with a physician to determine which mode is best suited for you.

  • When to Use BiPAP

    There are several situations in which a BiPAP would be used:

      • It’s often used to treat patients who are suffering from high blood pressure as well as patients who have low oxygen levels in their blood.
      • It serves as a backup plan in case a CPAP fails to treat sleep apnoea in some patients.
      • BiPAP is best suited for patients who suffer from neuromuscular disorders or lung disorders.
      • It’s used instead of CPAP for patients who struggle from cardiopulmonary disorders like heart failure.
      • It’s also ideal for patients who struggle to exhale and experience breathing difficulties while using CPAP.
      • It may also be of benefit to children who find the constant pressure of CPAP difficult
  • Are There any Disadvantages of BiPAP Therapy?

    There are common disadvantages that BiPAP shares with CPAP and they include:

      • nasal congestion
      • mask air leaks
      • dry nose
      • discomfort
      • rhinitis

    The main disadvantage of BiPAP is that it is very expensive. If you want to buy the machine, you will need to part with over $3,000. If you prefer to rent it instead, you will have to pay on average $200 per month.

    You do have the option of using a refurbished BiPAP machine; although, if the device was not refurbished by its original manufacturer, it will be void of its warranty. If you choose to buy a BiPAP device from an untrustworthy source, you may only be setting yourself up for disappointment.

    If you prefer buying a brand new one, the best brands are Resmed (Lumis Machines) and Philips Respironics (BiPAP Auto and BIPAP Auto SV Advanced).