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The Differences Between CPAP and BiPAP Therapy

The Differences Between CPAP and BiPAP Therapy

Finding out you need treatment for sleep apnea can be frightening. After all, the thought of not breathing when you’re asleep is terrifying. Luckily, there are solutions to this dilemma that offer light at the end of the tunnel. Understanding the differences between CPAP and BiPAP therapy will allow you to discover which option is best for you.


Continuous airway pressure (CPAP) machines pump pressured air into a person’s airway as they sleep. This pressure leaves the air channels open and allows the person to breathe correctly, alleviating any complications they may have. CPAP machines don’t alter the pressure from inhaling and exhaling; thus, some folks feel like they can’t breathe correctly. However, most people adjust to CPAP therapy quickly, while others prefer BiPAP instead.

CPAP devices come in many sizes. The most popular kind is relatively small, whereas portable models may fit in your hand. The travel versions often feature spare parts and are allowed on airplanes.


Unlike CPAP machines, bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines have settings for inhalation and exhalation. Generally, the exhalation setting is lighter than the inhalation one, enabling users to exhale effortlessly and without resistance. Most devices vary from 4 to 25 cm H2O, which is 5 cm H2O greater than CPAP machines.

BiPAP machines have 3 ways of handling exhalation and inhalation. One setting can automatically sense when someone’s breathing pattern is off, allowing the device to regulate their breathing. Most BiPAP users rely on this setting. In other instances, someone may prefer timed switching, setting a time limit for each part of the breathing process. Lastly, you can do a combination of automation and timed switching, where the machine turns on automatically if your breathing falls under a designated number of breaths per minute.

Which One Is Better?

So which sleep apnea therapy is best for you? First and foremost, your doctor or sleep technician should decide for you, but you do have some input. Both versions of treatment do wonders for people who suffer from this condition. CPAP machines are typically smaller, less expensive, more common, and more accessible, and your insurance will usually cover them. On the other hand, BiPAP devices are costlier and much more of a hassle.

Therefore, you may want to start with a CPAP machine it gives most everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea the treatment they seek. If you’re hitting a dead end with CPAP therapy, though, you might consider BiPAP instead. Regardless of which works best for you, the most crucial components are your safety and health.

If you received a CPAP prescription, let CPAPnation be your CPAP equipment supplier. Our items aid in both CPAP and BiPAP therapy, so don’t hesitate to ask one of our representatives to assist you. Plus, we have free shipping for all orders over $49, so you can stock up!


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