CPAP is the standard when it comes to PAP therapy, but do you know that BiPAP machines are getting more and more attention nowadays? Users that have a hard time breathing with their CPAP therapy may find an ally in BiPAP therapy. This is because BiPAP machines deliver a different setting for inhalation and exhalation.
In this article, we will discuss what BiPAP machines do, how much a BiPAP machine costs, and other considerations that one should factor in when making a purchase. Find out more about BiPAP machines and how it can help people with sleep apnea in the article below.
What are BiPAP Machines?
BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machines are used to treat obstructive and central sleep apnea. As the name suggests, BiPAP delivers air with two alternating levels, which allows it to provide pressure at a higher setting when inhaled and a lower setting once exhaled. This feature is what makes this machine different from other PAP machines. Patients with more severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea may find the BiPAP machine better for their breathing.
Top 3 BiPAP Machines Buying Guide – Everything You Need to Know About BiPAP Machines
1. ResMed AirCurve 10 Vauto
The ResMed AirCurve 10 VAuto was built specifically to treat obstructive sleep apnea. There are certain features that are available in the AirCurve 10 Vauto like Expiratory Relief Pressure, Auto-Adjustments, and the Easy Breath features.
All these features are formulated specifically to help adjust the pressure during the operation of the BiPAP machine. Since this is a bilevel machine, it also comes with the TiControl feature that keeps tabs on the patient’s inhalation and exhalation and makes sure that it is up to par with the machine’s standards.
In terms of operation, this machine comes with several features that helps make it an ideal BiPAP machine because of the user-friendly options available with the ResMed AirCurve 10 Vauto. The LCD screen is easy to read with an easy-grip dial that helps the user navigate through the menu. At night, one can rely on the light sensor that allows for the light to be dimmed based on the environment.
- Built-in Humidifier [ResMed HumidAir Heated Humidification System]
- 6 feet slimline tubing [Patient’s have the option to purchase the ClimateLineAir heated tube]
- Filter with cover
- With travel bag, SD Card, and Manual
2. DeVilbiss IntelliPAP AutoBiLevel
When it comes to the functions of the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP AutoBiLevel, it is no different than other BiPAP machines. It operates with two alternating pressures. However, there are certain features found in the DeVilbiss IntelliPAP AutoBiLevel that make it stand out.
First, it allows for an extremely quiet operation, which makes it ideal for light sleepers. Operating at 26 decibels, you can barely hear the sound this machine produces, making it comparable to white noise machines. Next, the built-in humidifier has a large capacity of 400 mL.
The pressure also adjusts automatically based on the breathing pattern of the user. Finally, this BiPAP machine comes with a SmartCode that records the data on one’s sleeping patterns to determine if there are changes that can help eliminate one’s sleep apnea.
- Integrated heated humidifier with 400 mL capacity
- Travel Bag
- CPAP hose
- Travel-ready 100v-240v AC adapter
- Users Manual
- Minimalist design
3. Philips Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro
The Philips Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro is the Philips Respironics version of a BiPAP machine. Similar to the two other machines, the pressure on this device is automatically adjusted depending on how much pressure is needed by the patient. However, the Dreamstation is the only model without a built-in humidifier, but the patient can choose to purchase it if needed.
There are two features on the Philips Respironics DreamStation BiPAP Pro that are enjoyed by most users. The Opti-Start sets the pressure at the average pressure that was used during the previous therapy to help ease the user into the night’s therapy. There is also a SmartRamp technology that keeps the pressure at a low level until it automatically detects that the machine needs to increase the pressure.
In terms of functionality, the DreamStation is designed with an easy to read screen and ambient light that detects the light in the room. This BiPAP machine is compact and it carries a minimalist design that fits on most bedside tables.
- DreamStation BiPAP Pro
- User Manual
- Carrying Case
- Power Cord
- Power Supply
- SD Card
- Flexible Tubing
- Reusable Pollen Filter
- Disposable Ultra-Fine Filter
How much does a BiPAP Machine Cost
Compared to CPAP machines, BiPAP machines are more expensive and it can cost $800 to $2,000 on average for the machine alone. Apart from the BiPAP machine, you should also consider all other incidental costs related to your purchase.
For example, you would also need to buy the corresponding face mask for your machine. Since your BiPAP machine is quite expensive, it is also necessary to get insurance. The insurance that you will be getting can help you save money in the long run.
BiPAP Machines Components
BiPAP Machines would normally be made with these four components:
● Air Filter – The filter for BiPAP machines is used to strain dirt, pollutants, and other contaminants from the airflow generator. Some BiPAP machines can come with a non-disposable filter or a disposable filter. As a rule of thumb, disposable filters should be replaced every two weeks. On the other hand, reusable filters should be washed once a week with warm and soapy water before air-drying.
● Connective Hose – The connective hose is what attaches the BiPAP machine to the mask. Next to the air filter, this is the component that may need constant replacement, which is why it is wise to invest in a replacement hose.
● Air-Flow Generator – The airflow generator is found inside a small box that comes with a fan, which seals out the air found in the room from the humidifier. Apart from humidifying the air, the airflow generator pressurizes the air according to the settings before delivering the air to the user.
● Humidifier – While a humidifier is optional for BiPAP machines, we recommend that you get one since it allows for an easier breathing process for its users. The compartment of a humidifier holds water and this compartment can be integrated to the machine or it can be a removable compartment. However, there are some BiPAP machines that don’t come with a humidifier at all.
BiPAP Prescription Requirements
Before you begin your PAP therapy, NIMS recommends that you ‘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.’
Buying BiPAP machines without any prescription is illegal. Since BiPAP machines are prescribed for a higher setting, it is essential that a physician provide a prescription. Moreover, the prescription should include the following information:
- Name, signature, and contact number of the prescribing physician or professional
- The patient’s name
- The specific sleep apnea diagnosis (OSA or CSA) of the patient with the recommended pressure settings
- Prescription for ‘BiPAP’ or ‘Bi-level PAP’ with the words indicated verbatim
BiPAP vs. CPAP – Similarities and Differences
CPAP is the standard of PAP treatments, but patients that need a higher pressure setting are most likely to be prescribed a BiPAP machine for their therapy. Most of the components of the CPAP and BiPAP are similar. However, their main difference is how the air is being delivered to the user. CPAP delivers air at a single level with only one pressure setting throughout. Since the pressure is fixed, breathing can be quite difficult for some users.
On the other hand, BiPAP machines deliver air at two different levels. The air pressure level is different when you inhale and different when you exhale. You might now be wondering, ‘how much does a BiPAP cost when compared to a CPAP machine.’ When it comes to pricing, the BiPAP machine is normally double the price of a CPAP machine.
BiPAP Advantages and Disadvantages
● Ideal for patients with cardiovascular diseases
● Better airflow pressure control than CPAP machines
● Dual airflow pressure
● Detects breathing pattern changes
● More expensive than CPAP machines
● May cause nasal congestion
● May only be used after CPAP therapy is ineffective
● Patient may develop Central Sleep Apnea
BiPAP machines give patients with sleep apnea a chance to feel relief when they sleep. However, apart from undergoing CPAP and BiPAP therapy, there are sleep apnea exercises and lifestyle changes that can be made to improve one’s condition.