Pros and Cons of BiPAP Therapy For COPD

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) therapy is a treatment option that’s often recommended for people with a lung and respiratory condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The lungs of patients with COPD are less elastic or are filled with mucus, making it hard for them to breathe. Some of the symptoms of this condition include shortness of breath, a chesty cough with phlegm, and wheezing.

How Does BiPAP Therapy Work?

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BiPAP therapy requires a BiPAP machine that comes with a mask and hose or tubing. This therapy targets dysfunctional breathing patterns and produces two levels of pressurized air that will pass through the fitted tubing and goes out to the mask, covering the nose or the mouth. The higher pressurized air is delivered when you inhale, and the lower pressurized air when exhaling, providing relief to your possibly overworked lungs and chest wall muscles.

BiPAP machines are built with a timer that automatically measures the amount of breath that a person should be taking per minute. It also has a feature that resets or adjusts the level of pressurized air to adapt or keep up with your breathing or respiratory patterns. For best results, it is advisable for you to use your BiPAP machine at least four hours each night, for at least five times a week. 

Just like CPAP machines, BiPAP machines also require proper cleaning and maintenance using a BiPAP cleaner to prevent the formation of germs, dust, bacteria, molds, and other particles that may cause future health risks.

Pros of BiPAP Therapy

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If you are suffering from COPD and your doctor advised you to undergo BiPAP therapy, the following information may give you a more positive perspective about this treatment option.

  • BiPAP therapy can be done when awake and while asleep, depending on your need and preference. BiPAP therapy is often done at night to help ensure that your airways won’t be blocked during sleep, but you can actually do it any time of the day. This can help you manage your time properly, especially if you’re a busy individual who spends long hours at work. Be sure to consult your doctor first if you prefer to use your BiPAP machine during the daytime.

  • BiPAP therapy can help improve the quality of your life. Since BiPAP therapy helps you address breathing difficulties, this may also lead to better sleep, a more active lifestyle, and a better perspective in life. BiPAP therapy can also lower your risk for being admitted to the hospital for respiratory or lung complications, and may even extend a person’s life.

  • BiPAP machines can help treat other conditions aside from COPD. Using BiPAP machines can help treat sleep apnea with low oxygen levels or high-pressure settings. Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder in the United States and around the world. BiPAP therapy is also prescribed for patients with neuromuscular disorders.

This equipment can also help manage and/or treat life-threatening diseases such as heart failure. According to a medical article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, BiPAP machines can help reduce abnormal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood of some patients with acute decompensated heart failure.

  • BiPAP therapy can help you save on hospital costs. Especially when done early on your COPD journey, BiPAP therapy can help prevent your COPD symptoms from getting worse, and thus it can also help you save on hospitalizations and surgery.

  • BiPAP therapy helps you breathe easier because of the exchange of oxygen with carbon dioxide. People suffering from COPD will have an easier time breathing at night because the pressure in the airway receives a steady flow of oxygen, allowing the lungs to deliver oxygen to the body and removing excess carbon dioxide. 

  • BiPAP machines are easy to clean and maintain. In fact, you don’t need to spend too much energy just to clean your BiPAP machine. You can just buy a BiPAP machine cleaner which can automatically clean your equipment in less than 30 minutes – just like what we offer here at CleanFlash®.

Cons of BiPAP Therapy

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BiPAP therapy is known for being the best treatment option for COPD, but it’s also good to know its disadvantages. Here are some of the downsides of BiPAP therapy. 

  • Some patients experience side effects and/or complications from using BiPAP machines. Some of these include eye irritation, dry nose and mouth, nasal congestion or sinus pain, rhinitis, general discomfort, and mild bloating of the stomach. If you have a lung infection or injury, please speak with your doctor as you may have to take extra precautions in using a BiPAP machine.

  • BPAP machines may trigger or worsen claustrophobia. Since wearing a mask is a vital part of BiPAP therapy, some patients may experience claustrophobia or fear of not being able to breathe while wearing the mask. This is normal and may be addressed or corrected over time or with the help of your physician.

  • BiPAP therapy is more expensive than CPAP therapy. This is acceptable though as BiPAP machines provide two levels of air pressure, while the CPAP machine can only be set to a single pressure. This is also why patients with sleep apnea are advised to undergo CPAP therapy first. And when it doesn’t work, they are later on advised to proceed with BiPAP therapy.

  • When the mask of your BiPAP machine is loose, you may experience air leaks. This can refrain the machine from maintaining the prescribed pressure needed to improve your breathing. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has given you a more balanced perspective on BiPAP therapy. If you’re interested to explore more treatment options for your condition, please seek professional advice from your doctor.

Meanwhile, if you have a BiPAP machine and are interested in using a BiPAP cleaner to easily sanitize and maintain your equipment, we can be of help. The BiPAP cleaner that we offer uses both UV light and ozone for more efficient cleaning. It comes with a two-year warranty, a UV bag, a universal tube adapter, a charging cord, a USB power adapter, a portable ozone cleaning device, and a detailed manual for safe and proper usage.

To purchase our product, please click the button below. All the best!

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