About BiPAP Therapy For COPD
Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP)
therapy is often used in the treatment of chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is an umbrella term for lung and
respiratory diseases that make breathing difficult.
Modern BiPAP machines are tabletop
devices fitted with tubing and a mask. You simply put the mask
over your nose and/or mouth to receive two levels of pressurized
air. One pressure level is delivered when you inhale, and a lower
pressure is delivered when you exhale.
BiPAP machines often feature a
“smart” breath timer that adapts to your respiratory patterns. By
having a custom air pressure for when you inhale and a second
custom air pressure when you exhale, the machine is able to
provide relief to your overworked lungs and chest wall muscles. It
automatically resets the level of pressurized air when needed to
help keep your breathing level on target. It is a non-invasive
ventilation (NIV and doesn’t require a surgical procedure, such as
intubation or tracheotomy.
For patients with COPD, breathing is
likely labored. Shortness of breath and wheezing are common
symptoms of COPD, and these symptoms can worsen as the condition
For people with COPD, using BiPAP
means less labored breathing. The pressure in your airway
encourages a steady flow of oxygen. This allows your lungs to more
efficiently transport oxygen to your body and remove excess carbon
The most common side effects of
BiPAP therapy include: dry nose, nasal congestion, rhinitis,
general discomfort, claustrophobia.
If the mask is loose, one may also
experience a mask air leak. This can keep the machine from
maintaining the prescribed pressure. If this happens, it can
affect your breathing.
To prevent an air leak from
happening, it’s crucial to purchase a mask properly fitted to the
mouth, nose, or both. After you put the mask on, run your fingers
over the edges to ensure that it’s “sealed” and fitted to your
* * * * *