If you have been choking, or snoring or facing difficulty breathing while sleeping, it might be because your mouth or throat muscles aren’t permitting the oxygen to reach your lungs. This medical condition is called Sleep Apnea. According to a recent study, over 1 billion people worldwide have some form of sleep apnea. Luckily, there are treatment options available most commonly in the form of CPAP machines.
Depending upon the severity of the condition you are facing, your doctor might introduce you to terms like CPAP, APAP or BiPAP. So, what exactly are these and which one is best for you?
All the following are Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) devices.:
- CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
- APAP – Automatic Positive Airway Pressure
- BiPAP – BiLevel Positive Airway Pressure
CPAP is the most common machine you can come across for sleep therapy to treat sleep apnea. It is a simple device that consists of a motorized device, humidifier, connecting tube and face mask. The motorized device draws the air from the room and pressurizes it through the connecting pipe into the face mask. The built-in humidifier prevents your mouth from going dry during the night. CPAP is limited to a single pressure range, which can be changed with pressure settings on the device.
People with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) use CPAP. CPAP is more common in people who suffer from mild stages of the condition, and the machine is fairly easy to use.
APAP is a bit more intricate than a CPAP machine. It comes with a range of pressures that automatically change the pressure ranges when air is delivered. The user has a natural breathing pattern that is sensed by the device and switches the pressure range according to the pattern throughout the night.
One of the best advantages of the APAP machine is that it can also act as a CPAP. If your titration analysis suggests you to go for a “single” pressure setting, your APAP machine can do that. It can also be auto-adjusted for a “multiple” pressure range based on your breathing pattern.
The APAP is not suitable for certain users who suffer from obesity hypoventilation syndrome or chronic heart failures of central sleep apnea. Check Philips Respironics Dreamstation Auto Cpap W/ Standard Humidifer & Tubing DSX500H11
BiPAP ventilation therapy works on dual pressure settings. One for inhalation (IPAP) and the other for Exhalation (EPAP) The BiPAP machine sets a higher pressure for inhalation and a slightly lower pressure for exhalation. It senses the user’s breaths per minute and adjusts the airflow pressure accordingly.
BiPAP is generally advised to people on whom CPAP therapy was ineffective. People with Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Asthma have chances of getting Sleep Apnea. Whereas, people with Sleep Apnea have a greater chance of catching Pneumonia, as contents or fluid from the throat are passed into the lungs due to the absence of air. BiPAP settings for COPD can be advised by the sleep technician after the process of titration.
In a nutshell, BiPAP ventilation is best suited for people suffering from Central Sleep Apnea
So, in simple terms:
- CPAP gives you a single pressure range that can be manually switched on demand.
- APAP automatically calculates your required pressure and adjusts the airflow without having to wake you up.
- BiPAP machine for sleep apnea gives you a dual pressure range, one for inhalation and another for exhalation.
CPAP BiPAP Titration
If you have been having breathing difficulties during sleep, it is advised that you visit a physician. You should definitely not choose the kind of therapy that suits you solely based on internet research. The resources available online are just to keep you aware of the latest happenings in the subject you are interested in. So, in such situations, do visit a physician who might introduce you to CPAP BiPAP Titration.
It is a process where the data of your breathing patterns is analyzed in order to prescribe the treatment best suited for your apnea. Titration can be done in a single night or can take 2 nights to reach a conclusion.
Eventually, with the data accumulated in the sleep therapy, the sleep technologist calibrates the perfect pressure range for your CPAP machine. You should now be able to sleep comfortably at the comfort of your home, with the prescribed pressure range on your CPAP device.
The process involves the user wearing the complete CPAP kit and the pressure of the variable range is tested against the breathing patterns. Out of the many pressure settings, the most suitable one is identified that can control the apnea.
The user is also subjected to sleep in different positions to understand the severity in each position. The titration process also helps the user to get adapted to the CPAP mask and its use while sleeping.
Would you like to know if your CPAP therapy is working correctly? Find out in this interesting read!
Types of Masks – APAP CPAP BiPAP Machines
There are various masks available for any of APAP, CPAP, or BiPAP machines for the users. Depending upon the severity of the conditions, physicians prescribe them for controlling Sleep Apnea
1. Nasal Masks
Nasal masks are the simplest masks of them all. They are less complicated and just cover the user’s nose from the bridge to the upper lip area. For patients who are advised higher pressure settings, this mask works wonders. It is also suitable for patients who
- Change position while sleeping a lot of times
- Are claustrophobic
- Prefer more natural airflow
- Like lightweight masks
Nasal masks are not suitable for patients who breathe with their mouth. These can leave them dry-mouthed and gasping for breath. Users having a medical history for Sinus issues won’t qualify for nasal masks as they might give a problem in pressure delivery. Patients who have medical conditions like a deviated septum too are poor choices for using Nasal masks.
2. Nasal Pillows
The most lightweight option in sleep therapy masks is Nasal Pillows. They have the most minimal contact with the patients face. They differ with the nasal masks in pressure settings. Nasal pillow requires the least pressure as opposed to nasal masks. It suits patients who actively move during their sleep, patients who are claustrophobic, patients who breathe through their nose, etc.
Individuals who are recommended high-pressure settings should not opt for Nasal Pillows. Patients who are not used to breathing out from the nose should also avoid using Nasal Pillows.
3. Full Face Masks
As the name implies, Full-face masks cover the complete face of the user. They have in-house compartments for inhalation (IPAP) and exhalation (EPAP) and create a CPAP seal over both airways. They are bulky and carry much more weight than nasal pillow and nasal masks, but are perfect for individuals who require higher pressure if they breathe through their mouth.
ResMed AirPack Auto - AirSense 10 Autoset Bundle Package
The ResMed AirSense 10™ AutoSet™ is a premium auto-adjusting CPAP therapy machine for sleep apnea patients. It works on the automated mechanism where the breathing pattern and specific sleep states are detected by the machine. The pressure settings are auto-adjusted without you waking up for the task. It monitors the real-time data of the user.
The device comes with an integrated wireless connectivity which allows the physician to monitor the progress of the sleep therapy.
The latest from ResMed gives complete control for the device to ensure you get the much-needed boost of airflow without any glitch or intervention. It is extremely simple to operate with attractive visual designs, LCD interface, and a compact infrastructure that boasts a powerful performance.
Philips Dreamstation CPAP Pro Machine
The Dreamstation Pro from Philips Respironics is the leading, most advanced, and trendiest device available today. It delivers a pre-set range of air pressure throughout the night in continuous form. It auto-adjusts the pressure settings until you find the best match and locks the setting place. It is extremely lightweight, portable, and smaller than its predecessor.
The LCD interface is easy to read and operate. It is colorful, easy to navigate, and the light sensor housed on the top adjusts the brightness depending upon the ambient light in your bedroom.
Read the complete blog about DreamStation to make a decision!
a) Auto-Trial: The feature can be used for 30 days that helps determine the user’s pressure level to be used in the sleep therapy.
b) SmartRamp: It monitors the therapy level while you are asleep. During the ramp period, it delivers lower overall pressure until it detects an obstructive respiratory event. In such an event, it raises the pressure until the ramp period concludes
c) Heated Humidifier: It has a standard and adaptive mode. The standard one heats up to the pre-selected temperature throughout the night. The adaptive one offers a custom level of humidification throughout the night regardless of the external factors in the room.
d) Mask Fit Check: This feature allows the user to determine if the fit is perfect for the face.
e) Bluetooth and SD Card Storage: After each therapy, the device displays a sleep progress report on the LCD screen. You can access your sleep data for the past 30 days.
Devilbiss Healthcare IntelliPAP Bilevel S System
The Devilbiss Healthcare IntelliPAP Bilevel S System is the preferred choice of patients who require higher pressures to maintain an open airway. The device acts as both CPAP and a BiPAP machine.
Some key features of the device are:
- The device offers maximum adjustability in its category. It handles a pressure range from 3-25 cm H20 and adjusts the IPAP and EPAP delta up to 22cm H20.
- Works at the sound of whisper (26Dba) Less noise + Efficiency in performance
- LCD interface is easy to understand, use and operate. It shows actual pressure, leak rate and real-time breathing rate, Inhalation: Exhalation ratio, etc
- The success of CPAP therapy depends upon the exact pressure setting. Always consider the advice of your doctor to determine the desired pressure
- Do routine Titrations if you have medical conditions like fatigue, heart diseases, etc.
- Use masks that fit your face properly. These are the ones that will help you get the much-needed airflow pressure when you sleep
- Never take your mask off while sleeping. Make it a habit by slowly getting adapted. This will positively control the sleep disorder
- A humidifier is a playground for bacteria and mold. Keep it clean and sterile for longer use.
- If you are new to this sleeping disorder, better consult a physician in choosing your APAP, CPAP, or BiPAP machine
- Conditions like Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), Asthma, etc. can increase the risk of Sleep Apnea. Whereas Sleep Apnea can increase the chances of catching up Pneumonia