What are the Differences Between CPAP, BiLevel and AutoPAP Machines?

It has been said that we spend one third of our lives sleeping. That is, if we are able to sleep for eight straight hours a day. Medical authorities have kept on repeating the importance of quality sleep. And yet, statistics have shown that around 70 million Americans have sleeping disorders according to the CDC. The sorry thing is: about 95 percent of these people are undiagnosed and are therefore untreated.

Thankfully, there are several medical devices that have been developed that can correct sleeping disorders. These devices include the CPAP machine, the BiLevel machine and the Auto PAP machine. If you suspect that you or one of your loved ones is suffering from sleep apnea, you need to learn how these machines can help.

What is A CPAP Machine?

CPAP is the acronym for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This machine is typically recommended by doctors for people suffering from sleep apnea. It is the most affordable of all the three devices. This machine can provide help by continuously inducing the flow of air that the patient is inhaling and exhaling.

For many years, healthcare professionals specializing in sleeping disorders have been recommending CPAP Machines as the first course of treatment. A CPAP machine uses a mask to deliver pressurized air to the patient. In the process, the pressurized air will form a pneumatic splint on the patient’s airway. This prevents the collapse of the airway while the patient is sleeping.

A standard CPAP machine can only deliver one air pressure setting throughout the entire sleeping time of the patient. For instance, if the CPAP machine is set at 12 cm/H2O, once the device has reached that threshold, it will continue to blow out pressurized air at this setting while the patient is sleeping.

The patient must overcome the sense of being overwhelmed when using a CPAP machine. It can be challenging to experience the continuous flow of air in his airway even if he is already exhaling. Makers of these machines are trying to resolve this issue by incorporating a sensing device in the CPAP machine that will reduce the pressure during exhalation.

What Is A BiLevel Machine?

As its name implies, a BiLevel Machine can deliver two levels of air pressure. One is designed for inhalation and the other is designed for exhalation. The BiLevel machine is by far the most complex machine designed to alleviate sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. As such, it is also the most expensive of the three devices. These machines are typically recommended for people who have special needs.

The top air pressure setting of a BiLevel machine is usually 25 cm/H2O. A CPAP machine and an Auto PAP machine usually only go up to 20 cm/H2O. If a patient requires medium to high range air pressure during inhalation, the attending physician will usually recommend the BiLevel machine. For patients with other sleeping disorders such as Parkinson’s, ALS and other illnesses, the BiLevel machine will also be recommended since it works like a ventilator.

What Is An Auto PAP Machine?

Another device that can be used to treat sleeping disorders is the Auto PAP machine or Auto CPAP. Auto PAP is actually the acronym for automatic titrating continuous positive airway pressure. Titrating means measuring or sensing and adjusting. This device has a high and low pressure adjustment which is designed to vary the delivery of air pressure with respect to various inhalation requirements.

The Auto PAP machine is better than the standard CPAP machine because it can be set to different air pressures instead of just one. Pressure ranges will be determined by the attending physician. The Auto PAP machine is equipped with an algorithm technology that senses the patient’s needs. This enables the machine to detect the exact air pressure that a patient needs with every breath he takes.

Theoretically, the Auto PAP machine should function at its lowest pressure setting of 4 and a highest setting of 20. But some healthcare experts believe that an Auto PAP machine will be more effective if its range will be adjusted nearer the known CPAP air pressure that the patient requires. There are still challenges to using these machines therefore; patients are advised to notify their attending physician if they experience difficulties with their Auto PAP machine.

Whether it is a CPAP machine, an AutoPAP machine or a BiLevel machine, it is important to note that these machines are all intended to benefit the patient who suffers from sleeping disorders. By using any of these machines, the patient no longer needs to suffer the difficulties of sleep apnea and enjoy straight eight hours of sleep every night.

Valley Sleep Therapy is your one stop shop for CPAP, AutoPAP and BiLevel CPAP machines. Browse our online store or visit us in Mesa, AZ today!