The most common reasons for use for Bipap machines are severe obstructive or central sleep apnea – both potentially dangerous sleep disorders. Your doctor will set inspiratory and expiratory pressures before you take your Bipap machine home. Some adjustments to your sleeping habits will change but you will get used to wearing a mask quickly. Side effects may happen to some people but the use of lip balm, skin cream and nasal sprays may help with any side effect that you experience.
The set up of your Bipap machine:
- Set the machine up next to the bed and connect the air-tubing the air outlet. The other end of the tubing can then be fitted to the face mask.
- Switch on the machine and test for air leakage from the mask, adjusting the straps so they exert equal pressure on the mask from both sides, to ensure the mask stays in place. Ensure that there is no leakage into the wearer’s eyes, and that the mask is not too tight.
- Finally, make sure that tube is free of obstructions, doesn’t have any kinks, and can accommodate the wearer sitting up or turning.
- The Bipap machine must be placed on a clutter-free surface, without anything in the way so it can be reached and operated easily (e.g. to adjust pressure in machines that allow pressure ramping), and to ensure that the machine isn’t accidentally pulled on to the floor or the tubing disconnected by a restless sleeper’s arms or blankets – a concern with the frequent, jerky movement and turning associated with an apnea sleep disorder.
- It’s also important that the machines are not placed near air-heaters or air-conditioning units, as an artificial flow of air can affect the pressure-level delivered through a Bipap machine.
Side effects of using Bipap machines:
There are few side effects from using Bipaps, and none serious. The most common are skin irritation from the mask, chapped lips and nosebleeds. Emollients, humidifiers and nasal sprays assist with all of these. Stomach bloating can occur if the pressure has been set too high, but this is rare.
After your sleep study your doctor will adjust any pressure issues and comfort issues that you may experience with the use of a Bipap machine. Most people do find that the inconvenience of a Bipap machine is nothing compared to the wonderful nights rest they get.