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Brandon Peters, M.D.

What is the Difference Between CPAP and BiPAP?

By September 23, 2011

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If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have likely been introduced to at least one of the possible treatment options. You may also be curious to know the difference between two similar treatment options: CPAP and BiPAP.

The standard treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a machine that provides support to keep your airway open while you are asleep. This can be accomplished with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in which a constant flow of air is provided via a face mask. The pressure of this air is determined based on your needs and is meant to prevent both apnea and snoring.

A similar therapy is called BiPAP, which is a trademarked abbreviation for bilevel positive airway pressure. The "bilevel" component refers to the fact that there are in fact two pressures, which the machine is able to alternate between. This allows you to breathe out against a slightly lower pressure. BiPAP is more often used to treat central sleep apnea.

Read More About CPAP and BiPAP:

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