What Do BiPAP and CPAP Machines Measure?


Quick Answer

BiPAP and CPAP machines are used to relieve symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea and do not measure specific health data. Rather, these machines are prescribed after measurements have been taken from a medical examination such as a sleep study, reports WebMD.

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What Do BiPAP and CPAP Machines Measure?
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Full Answer

Continuous positive airway pressure machines are generally the first line therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP machines consist of a mask that covers the nose or both the nose and mouth; this mask increases air pressure in the throat and prevents the airway from collapsing during sleep. While CPAP machines do not cure OSA, they do relieve major symptoms of OSA, such as snoring and daytime sleepiness. For those with moderate to severe sleep apnea, these machines have been demonstrated to significantly lower blood pressure, states WebMD.

Bi-level positive airway pressure machines are commonly utilized when individuals are using a CPAP machine and are having trouble breathing out as a result of the pressure from the CPAP. BiPAP machines are also particularly suited for patients with heart failure. BiPAP machines work by lowering the air pressure every time an individual exhales during sleep, as the National Center for Biotechnology Information states. BiPAP machines thus provide for a different air pressures between inhalations and exhalations. With BiPAP machines, a patient may be required to spend the night at a sleep laboratory to measure which air pressures work best for him, says WebMD.

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