How Does a BiPAP Work?

How Does a BiPAP Work?

If you have sleep apnea or another condition that affects your breathing, your doctor might have mentioned a bilevel positive airway pressure machine, or BiPAP Machine to you. Sometimes called a BPAP, it’s a device that helps you breathe.

When you take in air, your diaphragm — a muscle in your chest that helps you breathe — moves downward. This drops the pressure in the tubes and sacs in your lungs and draws air into them. If you have a condition like sleep apnea, there may be times (like while you’re sleeping) when you can’t draw in the air you need.

In that case, your doctor may recommend that you use a BiPAP. It pushes pressurized air into your lungs. That opens them and lets you get the oxygen you need, which can lower your chances of things like a heart attack.

A BiPAP machine is about the size of a lunchbox. A face mask, nasal mask, or nasal plugs are attached to the machine by a tube. The machine motor blows air through the tube. The air enters your body through the mask or plugs. Some BiPAPs have other technology, like a humidifier.

Using a BiPAP machine might be uncomfortable at first. But most people get used to it over time. If you feel like you can’t breathe when you’re wearing your BiPAP, contact your doctor right away. Adjusting the settings on your machine may do the trick.

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