People with sleep apnea snore and periodically stop breathing for short periods throughout the night. When they resume breathing, it is often with an audible gasp. A bi-level continuous positive airway pressure machine (BiPAP) is a breathing machine designed to combat sleep apnea.
A standard CPAP machine sends compressed air at one pressure level. However, a BiPAP machine can be set for one pressure when users inhale and for a different level when they exhale. The other basic components include a face mask to send the air into the nostrils and tubing to connect the machine with the mask.
Many new BiPAP users report having uncomfortable or ineffective face masks. A different size or model may solve these problems.
A BiPAP user may wake up with dryness in the nose and congestion or have frequent nosebleeds. A model with a humidifier that sends moist, heated air through the tubing can correct these problems.
BiPAP machines with humidifiers can create "rainout," or droplet formation inside the tubing that drains onto the face. A hose insulator will keep cool air away from the tubing and limit rainout.
Because a BiPAP machine sends air directly into the user's airway, it is important to clean it regularly to avoid infection.