What is Bipap Therapy?
The full form of COPD is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a lung and respiratory disease that makes breathing difficult. Bi-level positive airway pressure (Bipap) therapy is often used in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In the initial days, this treatment was available only in the hospitals but now the patients can be treated at homes as well if they are unable to reach the hospital. This therapy is noninvasive which means that doesn’t require any surgical procedure. It is the reason that the patient can be treated with convenience.
A Bipap machine is a smart tabletop gadget that is fitted with a tube and a mask. During the simple process, the mask is fitted over the nose or the mouth as per the patient’s convenience. Two-level pressurized air enters the mask through the tube. When a person inhales through this mask a higher pressure is delivered and a lower pressure is delivered while the patient exhales.
Bipap is a smart machine that has a breath timer that gets adapted to the breathing pattern and thus it automatically reset the air pressure as needed by the patient. Nowadays, you can easily get Bipap machines on rent as well.
How does Bipap therapy help patients dealing with COPD?
If you are suffering from COPD then it is likely that you experience shortness of breath and wheezing which are the common symptoms of COPD. With the passage of time, these conditions can get worse if the patient is left untreated.
The Bipap machine is designed to treat the dysfunctional breathing pattern. The customized air pressure provides relief to your overworked lungs and wall muscles of the chest.
This machine was used to provide relief to the patient who is suffering from sleep apnea. The fact is that the whole body relies on our central nervous system to lead the process of breathing when sleeping. The patient can experience resistance in breathing while sleeping.
As per the needs of the patient this therapy can be given to them during the daytime or when the patient is asleep. Most of the time, this therapy is given to the patients during the night to keep the airways open, but in certain cases it can be given during the daytime as well. If it is given during the daytime it can restrict the patient’s activities and interaction, thus, mostly it is preferred at night.
During the whole process, a steady flow of oxygen is encouraged with the help of pressurized air into the lungs. This helps your lungs to remove extra carbon dioxide and allows your lungs to transport oxygen more effectively to your body. Regular use of Bipap therapy can improve the quality of life and breathlessness that result in an increase in long-term survival. Philips Bipap is one of the best options that are available in the market.
Bipap AVAPS (average Volume assured pressure support) is also very helpful in treating COPD as it maintains optimal patient comfort while supporting patient care and treatment efficacy.
Side Effects with the use of Bipap Therapy
There is a certain side effect that comes with the usage of Bipap Therapy. They are:
- Dry Nose: It can lead to dryness in the nose due to continuous breathing. A Humidifier can help in this case.
- Congestion in the nose: The therapy also leads to congestion in the nose of the patient.
- Rhinitis: It can lead to irritation and the swelling in the mucous membrane that leads to a stuffy nose.
- Claustrophobia: Claustrophobia is the fear of confined places. The use of a mask can make the person feel claustrophobic.
- General Discomfort: The whole procedure, the fixing of the tube and the covering of the mouth/nose with the mask can cause general discomfort to the patient.
Complications with The Bipap therapy
Two people may respond differently when using the therapy, as every person is different from the other. So it becomes very important to consult the doctor before the use of Bipap therapy. He can give you an insight into the risks, complications, and benefits that you can go through with the usage of it.
Though, it is seen that people do not experience any complications with the usage of Bipap therapy but it is also a fact that this may not be suitable for all kinds of respiratory problems. The problem that one can experience with the Bipap therapy is Injury or deterioration of functioning of lungs.
Bipap Vs Cpap therapy in case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is noninvasive ventilation. CPAP machines also pump mild air pressure into the nasal passage to keep the airways open. This leads to the avoidance of any obstructions in the passage.
The major difference between the Bipap and the Cpap machines is that the Cpap machines deliver only a single level of air pressure to the lungs that is preset while the Bipap machines deliver custom air pressure when the patient inhales and the second air pressure when you exhale.
As the same continuous pressure is delivered during the inhalation and exhalation process the process of exhalation becomes more difficult. The single pressure surely helps to keep the airways open but it can be of less help to the ones who are going through chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). You can use this therapy in case a patient is experiencing both Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
As Bipap machines provide two levels of air pressure during exhalation and inhalation as per the need of the patient, it makes the process of breathing easy that the patients do not experience when using Cpap machines. It is for the same reason Bipap machines are preferred more for the ones dealing with COPD. It surely decreases the work of the lungs and makes it easier for them to breathe.
Other Therapies available
There are many other therapies also apart from Bipap pressure that can be of great help to the patients dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There are many medications available that can help you in breathing and bronchodilator is one of them. The work of the bronchodilator is to relax the airway’s muscles to help in breathing. It is taken through a nebulizer machine or an inhaler. That directly goes into the lungs.
Oxygen therapy delivers oxygen to your lungs through a face mask that is attached to the tubes. The oxygen is delivered through a tank that is portable. This machine cannot adapt to your breathing pattern and does not deliver a set level of oxygen. You can use it day and night as per the requirement when the level of oxygen falls.
In case you are experiencing severe symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) then your doctor may recommend surgery. Depending upon an individual condition the doctor may recommend bullectomy to remove bullae, lung volume reduction to remove damaged lung tissue or to go for a lung transplant.