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How Does a BiPAP Machine Work

How Does a BiPAP Machine Work

People suffering from sleep apnea are often advised to use a BiPAP machine. However, most would want to know how does it work before opting for it. This SleepHearty article will help you understand how a BiPAP machine works and how it can help you get a good sleep.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
There are many people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea or other sleep disorders that do not allow one to sleep peacefully. These disorders are treated with the help of machines that help prevent breathing interruptions while sleeping. One such machine is called the BiPAP machine. If you too are suffering from sleep apnea, then you may have been advised to use this machine. This suggestion may have left you wondering how you could avail its benefits with ease, right? If yes, then continue reading the following paragraphs.


The muscles that help support the tongue and palate to relax, tend to collapse, while sleeping. This causes airway obstruction that makes the breathing passages narrower. BiPAP machines help deliver the air when a person stops breathing during sleep, thus preventing snoring and apnea due to airway collapse.

Working Mechanism

A BiPAP machine helps provide positive pressure of air when a person breathes out. This positive pressure of air is very important for those who suffer from sleep apnea. There are different BiPAP settings of air pressure for inhalation as well as exhalation. This helps the machine monitor the breathing of a person who is sleeping. The machine also has the ability to calculate the number of breaths taken in a minute. If the person misses one, it will increase the air pressure enabling the person to breathe.

As the person begins to breathe in and out normally, the machine will gradually decrease the pressure. This helps the person sleep properly, without any interruptions. The BiPAP machine is a great alternative to the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP machine tends to blow a steady stream of air into the airway continuously. Thus, the airway is kept open at all times and the person can sleep without any breathing interruptions. However, some patients find it very difficult to sleep with a steady air stream. The BiPAP machine is very suitable for such patients.

How to Use

The BiPAP machine is a non-invasive system. It is a compact machine that sits comfortably on a table near the bed. These machines come with or without humidifiers, as per the individual's need. These also come with a nasal pillow mask or complete BiPAP mask, with or without chin guards. One needs to wear the mask over their face and switch on the machine before sleeping. The machine will blow high pressure air into the airway during inhalation and low pressure air during exhalation.

One needs to speak to a doctor before getting a BiPAP machine. It is very important in cases where one suffers from sleep apnea, as this condition causes breathing to stop for about 10 seconds, and these intervals may occur 20 times in an hour. This causes many health complications and sleep disturbances.

One may suffer from stomach bloating, claustrophobia, dry eyes, dry mouth, soreness of mouth, and red marks on the face after using BiPAP machines. Therefore, you should use this machine only under the guidance of a doctor. For any further queries, speak to your healthcare provider.

Disclaimer: This SleepHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.