Technology evolves every year from the roads, to buildings, and gadgets. These the brilliant innovations in medicine and health have become part of our daily lives. Through technological breakthrough in healthcare and medicine, many diseases or disorders can be treated, managed and cured. Sleep apnea is one of them.
Sleep and rest is very important for good health and total well-being. At least 6 hours of sleep is needed to revitalize the body and have the energy needed for everyday activities. But it is possible that some people may not enjoy good sleep because of certain problems like sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a common but a serious disorder wherein a patient experiences one or more pauses or stops in breathing while sleeping. The word “apnea” literally means cessation of breathing. Sleep apnea can last from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. It can occur multiple times in an hour.
Symptoms of this disorder include snoring, breathing and choking sound during sleep. During daytime, patients with sleep apnea also experience drowsiness or sleepiness.
Sleep apnea can be caused by several factors like an obstruction in the breathing passage, overweight, enlarged tongue and tonsils, some birth defects and aging.
How can sleep apnea be treated? CPAP and BiPAP are two machines developed to help patients with sleep apnea. Here is our CPAP vs BIPAP comparison.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is used as a therapy for people with sleep apnea disorder. The machine assists the patients in breathing while they are asleep.
CPAP machine comes with a hose, and a nose piece or a mask. It provides a constant and steady supply of air pressure. It can also be used to relieve a dry and stuffy nose as the air pressure can be adjusted and it has a heated humidifier feature. It can also be adjusted to help a person with colds to breathe better.
The use of CPAP decreases the sleepiness that patients may feel during daytime. Patients who use CPAP longer were noted to have decreased sign of depression and lessen the risks of developing heart issues than those people who don’t. It has also been proven to lower blood pressure, too.
For patients using CPAP, it is important to regularly visit their doctors to address any concerns arising from using the machine such as nasal irritation and dryness. This will also be a way to check whether the treatment is working or not.
It is very important to clean the machine. Simply follow the manual and instructions in cleaning CPAP machines.
Just like the CPAP machine, BiPAP or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure is also a form of therapy for patients experiencing sleep apnea. It improves inhaling and exhaling.
The machine can be set on a spontaneous, timed mode or combination of two. When on a spontaneous mode, the machine senses the switch in the patients breathing. On the other hand, timed mode is when the machine is programmed at rate prescribed by the physician to ensure that the number of breaths per minute is maintained. When the machine is set to a combination of spontaneous and timed modes, the machine senses the change in breathing and the timed mode makes sure that the breaths per minute required is maintained. Only the physician can prescribe the mode that will work well for each patient.
CPAP vs BiPAP
Basically both CPAP & BiPAP machines provide pressurized air to keep the airway passage open during sleep and make the patients breathing better. Both are non-invasive and prevent the collapse of the muscles in the throat. They are both portable and handy.
But what is the difference between the two? CPAP is the on-the-go treatment for sleep apnea.It has a continuous flow of single pressured air which is set by the physician. Most patients adapt easily to the breathing out against the back pressure of the CPAP; however, it can also difficult for other patients to get used to exhaling with the incoming pressurized air.
In contrast, BiPAP has a bilevel feature that refers to the two pressures which allow patient to get more air inside and outside of their lungs.The BiPAP machine can be set into a timer which measures the
amount of patient’s breaths in a minute. The machine automatically adjusts in cases when the breaths exceeds or lacks in the set limit.
To reiterate, sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder. It must not be ignored. Irregularities in the respiratory functions, the breathing in and exhaling, can lead to other diseases. Having sleep apnea increases patient’s risks of high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and premature death. When you have symptoms of sleep apnea, visit a doctor immediately so he can recommend the best treatment you need.