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.
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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