A BPAP is a form of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) therapy used to facilitate breathing.
BPAP machines can be used in hospitals, and are also available for those who need them at home.
Home BPAP machines are compact — about the size of a toaster. The machine features a tube that connects to a mask that is worn over your nose and mouth.
Like other ventilators, BPAP machines use pressure to push air into your lungs. Depending on the settings, this opens the lungs, improving the level of oxygen in the blood and decreasing the carbon dioxide.
These machines are called “bilevel” because they have two air pressure settings:
- When you breathe in, BPAP machines deliver more air pressure. This is also known as inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP).
- When you breathe out, the machine reduces the air pressure. This is called expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP).
Some BPAP machines have a timer that can be programmed to maintain a certain number of breaths per minute.