PROVENT: New Comfortable Device For Sleep Apnea

Almost one out of every 10 Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a debilitating medical problem resulting in them waking up numerous times at night gasping for air.

Up until now the most effective treatment was a big bulky C.P.A.P. mask which many found uncomfortable and a hassle to transport on trips. Many stopped trying to use them after a few weeks.

But now there is a new treatment for the problem Provent, two small plugs that fit inside the nostrils, keeping the airways open. The big issue with them is the price, about $55 for a month’s supply.

“For a lot of people out there, the C.P.A.P. machine turns into a doorstop,” said Dr. Joseph Golish, the former chief of sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic told the New York Times. “C.P.A.P. is very effective in the sleep lab. But when people go home, there’s a good chance they won’t use it, and the success rate of an unused C.P.A.P. machine is absolutely zero.”

“Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008, Provent has spread mostly by word of mouth. But it has caught on fast. Its manufacturer, Ventus Medical, says it has shipped one million of the devices in the past 12 months, up from a half million total in the two years prior. Doctors say it has given them a new weapon in the battle against sleep apnea, and many patients who struggled with C.P.A.P. call it a godsend.”

About a million have been sold so far. While it’s price might make it prohibitive for some people, at least they could be used occasionally for travel.

“Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen,” says WebMD.

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7 Comments on "PROVENT: New Comfortable Device For Sleep Apnea"

  1. bill cauley | April 11, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    I use a CPAP machine similar to the one shown. Usually get 4-6 hours of good solid sleep a night but wish I could get at least 8. Those plugs look pretty big to fit into my nostrils. Seriously, could a diagram be provided as to how they fit/work?

  2. Yep CPAP machines are very hard to get use to.
    Samething 4-6 hours is all I can take.

  3. I definitely am interested, but I don’t see how a nasal plug can keep the back of your throat open (most common airway blockage). It may be good for specific types of sleep apnea events but I am not sure how it could prevent the most common types. I guess I will have to learn more.

  4. My son has sleep apnea and uses a cpap machine,would insurance pay for this product and do you need a perscription from a doctor to get it.Thank you

  5. Mary Ann C | April 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |

    $55/ month x 12 months = $660 x 5 years = $3300.
    A CPAP machine costs about $5000 and lasts about the same before some people need replacement. Plus there is a cost of about $300/ year for distilled water and mask or hose replacement.
    Now which one costs more?

    • George Gombossy | April 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm |

      Thanks for your post Mary Ann. Keep a couple of things in mind, many insurers cover a machine but not the Provent. Also Provent doesn’t work for everyone.

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