What is Sleep Apnea?
First of all, it's good to cover the basics, like what is sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? Sleep apnea or OSA is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
Sleep apnea does more than interrupt a good night’s sleep. It’s an insidious unrecognized chronic disease state that can lead to or exacerbate deadly medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and stroke. But it is treatable – and we can help.
“Sleep Apnea” is a blanket term for different variations of the condition: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (the most common form), Central/Mixed Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea. While treatment varies for each, all forms of sleep apnea pose a serious health risk. Learn more here.
For more information about sleep apnea and any sleep-related breathing disorders check out this recent case study from the National Sleep Foundation.
What is a CPAP Machine?
A CPAP machine is basically a small box which has a motorized fan inside, another key part of the machine is the humidifier chamber which is built into the box. Attached to the CPAP is a hose which connects the box to the mask. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP machines help people with sleep apnea breathe more easily and regularly every night while they're sleeping. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat to prevent the airway from collapsing when you inhale. This will also help prevent the problem of snoring, which will help your partner sleep better at night.
What is a BiPAP Machine?
BiPAP machine is a Bilevel or two-level positive airway pressure. Like CPAP, the air is sent through the tube into a mask that fits over the nose. BiPAP and CPAP machines share many of the same features, such as they both require a face mask and tubing to connect the device.
What is the Difference Between CPAP and BiPAP?
The key difference between CPAP and BiPAP is that BiPAP pressurizes the air and delivers it at two alternating levels. The inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) is higher and supports a breath as it is taken in. The expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) is a lower pressure that allows you to comfortably breathe out. These pressures are preset based on a prescription provided by your doctor or physician.
Both machines or devices are designed to be very user-friendly. They do require a prescription from your doctor, once you figure out which machine best fits your needs then you can start looking at the devices we have available and we've got you covered.