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Do you ever wake up gasping for breath? Chances are, you might be dealing with sleep apnea. This is a common sleeping disorder that affects many individuals. If you think you also have sleep apnea, visit a sleep specialist for a diagnosis. In case the examination shows that you have this condition, the doctor will proceed with the most suitable treatment for you.

Although there are multiple ways to treat sleep apnea, CPAP and BiPAP are popular methods to improve sleep and overall health. CPAPs offer a fixed pressure during inhalation, whereas BiPAP machines provide one level of air pressure during inhalation as well as another for exhalation. But, other than that, what is the difference between CPAP vs. BiPAP?

In this blog, we will go over each sleep apnea treatment method, how it works, and what benefits they offer. Continue reading to find out!

CPAP vs. BiPAP: Understanding How They Work

First, let us discuss what these systems are and how they function.

When it comes to the CPAP system, it consists of a motor, a cushioned mask, a tube, headgear, and adjustable straps that help receive a perfect fit. A pre-calibrated stream of purified air is pushed through the tubing to the mask by the machine’s compressor. Since the pressurized air travels to the throat and keeps the airway open, it’s necessary to ensure the mask has an accurate fit.

BiPAP machines, too, are an effective treatment for sleep apnea. They incorporate dual pressure that facilitates natural breathing, which also decreases the need for human pressure to exhale. Hence, for the inhalation phase, BiPAPs use a higher pressure, whereas, for the exhalation phase, they use a lower pressure. Based on your condition, the doctor will use one of the following air-pressure settings:

  • Spontaneous switching
  • Timed switching
  • Spontaneous/timed switching

Benefits of CPAP and BiPAP Machines for Sleep Apnea

Both CPAP and BiPAP help eliminate sleep apnea symptoms, but what benefits do they offer? When used correctly, both devices can prove to be pretty helpful, aside from treating sleep disorders.

People who undergo CPAP therapy are shown to have a reduced possibility of sleep-related heart failure, strokes, and other medical events. Since sleep apnea is responsible for snoring, gasps, inconsistent breathing, etc., it raises the amount of carbon dioxide one inhales and lowers the received oxygen. But CPAP can help battle the side effects and risks sleep apnea brings by offering the following advantages:

  • Reduces snoring, even eliminating it in some cases
  • Maintains oxygen levels as you sleep
  • Helps you achieve better sleep quality, which helps increase your energy levels.
  • Guards heart health
  • Lowers diabetes risk
  • Supports weight loss
  • Better sleep significantly improves mood swings

BiPAP machines, on the other hand, also have promising prospects similar to CPAP. Moreover, this treatment helps lower the number of interruptions in sleep and snoring and paves the way for REM sleep. That’s not all; people with central sleep apnea can benefit from BiPAP since it delivers ideal performance for elevated carbon dioxide levels.

BiPAP vs. CPAP: Which is Better?

Both BiPAP and CPAP have shown effectiveness in treating sleep apnea. While CPAP tends to work better for obstructive sleep apnea, BiPAP machines show improvement in central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, and even COPD.

Due to their increased complexity and ability to make exhaling convenient, BiPAP machines are costlier than CPAP devices. Your sleep specialist will decide which system works best for you, explaining the strengths of the treatment they choose.


In conclusion, the difference between BiPAP vs. CPAP lies in their function and effectiveness in different types of sleep apnea. Your sleep specialist can decide which one is right for you. At Sleep & Headache Solutions, we aim to give you a peaceful sleep. Dial 832-688-8886 to talk to us now or visit us at 13114 FM 1960 West, Ste 105B Houston, TX 77065.

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