Frequently Asked Questions on CPAP/BiPAP Systems

What is a CPAP machine?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP machine is a device that makes use of mild air pressure to keep the airways open and prevent the throat muscles from collapsing. CPAP is used for treating sleep-associated breathing disorders such as sleep apnea and to treat preterm infants with under-developed lungs.

How often should one clean a CPAP system?

The CPAP tubing is recommended to be cleaned on a weekly basis by washing it with warm, soapy water. Rinse well and keep it in direct sunlight for drying. The CPAP mask should be replaced every 3-6 months and CPAP cushion once or twice a month.

What is a BiPAP machine used for?

A Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure or BiPAP machine is similar to a CPAP and designed to deliver pressurized air into a patient’s airways. It is also a form of non-invasive therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

What is the difference between CPAP and BiPAP?

CPAP/BiPAP systems have one single basic function - keeping the airways open. The difference lies in the functioning of the machine. While CPAP delivers air at the same pressure throughout inhalation and exhalation, a BiPAP machine has two pressure settings – one inhalation pressure and a lower one for exhalation. This dual setting helps the patient breathe in and out more comfortably because some may find the inhalation pressure difficult to exhale against.