What is BiPAP therapy?
In the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Bi-level positive airway pressure called BiPAP therapy is very effective. As the condition makes it difficult to take air into the lungs and people with COPD find it harder to breathe deeply and thus, their lungs can fill with mucus. The condition often becomes worse at night that disturbs the normal sleeping pattern and can stop a person from sleeping, leaving them exhausted in the morning. Initially, the therapy was only available within hospitals but now it can be availed at home easily you can easily get BiPAP machine on rent.
Modern BiPAP machines are devices that can be easily placed on a table and it is fitted with a tube and a mask. It simply provides two levels of pressurized air by putting the mask over your nose or mouth to receive it. The best part of a BiPAP machine is that it provides two levels of pressure one while you inhale, and a lower pressure while you exhale.
BiPAP machines often adjust itself to your breathing pattern with the help of a “smart” breath time. It automatically resets the level of pressurized air to keep things easy. The best part is that it does not require any a surgical procedure, such as intubation or tracheotomy and thus, it is considered as noninvasive ventilation (NIV).
How does BiPAP help in COPD?
If you have COPD, you feel extra pressure while breathing. Shortness of breath and having a rattling sound while breathing are common symptoms of COPD, and you can reach a much worse phase if the condition progresses.
BiPAP therapy is good in easing out dysfunctional breathing patterns. The BiPAP machine is able to help you in providing comfort to your overworked lungs and muscles of the chest wall with the help of custom air pressure while inhaling and exhaling.
Depending on one’s condition and your individual needs, BiPAP therapy can be used during the daytime as well as during the night. If you are using the BiPAP machine during the day it can limit social interactions and movement.
But generally, it is used at night to help keep your airways open while you’re sleeping making it easier for you to breathe. For people with COPD, the pressure in your airway encourages the transport of oxygen to your body and the removal of excess carbon dioxide efficiently.
People who have COPD and higher carbon dioxide levels, the use of BiPAP can improve their quality of life and breathlessness.
Side effects of BiPAP
The problems relating to BiPAP involve:
- Damaging of the skin due to tight face mask
- Leaking of pressurized air
- Mild bloating of the stomach
- Dry mouth
- Dry nose
- Congestion in the nose
- Irritation in the eyes
- Sinus pain
- General discomfort
What’s the difference between CPAP and BiPAP therapies?
The key difference between BiPAP and CPAP is that CPAP delivers only a single level of air pressure. During inhalation and exhalation, the same pressure is delivered. This can cause difficulty in exhaling for some people. It may not be beneficial for people with COPD unless they also have obstructive sleep apnea.
BiPAP machines provide two levels of air pressure that makes the process of breathing easy for people suffering from COPD when compared to CPAP machines. On the other hand, BiPAP can also help in curing people with sleep apnea as well.
Other therapies for COPD
Exercising regularly can help people with symptoms of COPD and can keep them active.
The two main types of medication for COPD are:
- To prevent the symptoms of COPD Controller medications is given
- To relieve the symptoms of flared up COPD Rescue medications is provided.
A person can take this medication after the checkup, the prescription is provided by the doctor. It can be taken through an inhaler or a nebulizer, as per the advice of the doctor.
If compared it is best to use Nebulizers compared to a handheld inhaler for people with severe COPD. They allow a person to inhale the medication easily though it may take a little longer to prepare.
Inhalers are quicker than for nebulizers and take less time to prepare but it can be difficult for as the method differs and can be a cause of the trouble.
Depending on the cause of COPD we can consider surgery as an option. If a person is suffering from emphysema then lung volume reduction surgery can be taken into account. Tin this particular surgery the worst affected sections of the lung are removed, and let the healthier tissues function properly.
If the people do not recover with other methods of treatments then a lung transplant can be considered in the most severe case of COPD. Though it is is a risky operation as the organ donors are very less in number.