Frequently Asked Questions


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What is BiPAP?

Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep your airways open while you sleep. People who have breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, may benefit from BiPAP treatment.

How is BiPAP treatment given?

BiPAP treatment is given through a machine that has a mask, tube, and motor. The motor sends air through the tube and into your mask. This mild air pressure prevents your airway from collapsing or becoming blocked. The BiPAP machine delivers a higher amount of pressure when you breathe in than when you breathe out.

What are the benefits of BiPAP?

  • Improves quality of sleep

  • Relieves daytime sleepiness

  • Reduces snoring

  • Reduces the risk of health problems caused by sleep apnea

What problems may occur with BiPAP?

  • Your BiPAP mask may feel uncomfortable or irritate your skin. You may need a mask that is a different size, shape, or material. A mask with fewer straps may irritate your skin less. You may also need to use a special moisturizer made for BiPAP machine users.

  • You may have dry mouth or eye or nasal irritation. These problems can be caused by the BiPAP machine, a leaking mask, or breathing through your mouth. Some machines come with a heated humidifier to help relieve these symptoms. A chin strap to help keep your mouth closed or a different type of mask can help dry mouth. Use a saline nasal spray at bedtime to help relieve nasal irritation.

  • You may have difficulty adjusting to the air pressure. You may have stomach bloating because the air pressure is causing you to swallow air. You may need to have the air pressure settings on your machine adjusted.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You continue to feel very sleepy during the day, even after you wear your BiPAP device as directed.

  • Your BiPAP is causing problems that do not improve.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, care, or equipment.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

Learn more about Bipap