New device helps patients treat sleep apnea

18 million Americans have sleep apnea.

It is a condition that not only disrupts sleep, but may lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke or diabetes if left untreated.

Now, a simple device that fits over the nose is helping patients get the treatment they need, without any discomfort.

Joyce Nemoga starts her days with walks or gardening, but she did not always have this much energy.

"I would wake up groggy. It would take me an hour or something to wake up and kind of get going,” Joyce said.

Doctors diagnosed Joyce with sleep apnea. Like most patients, Joyce was told to wear a mask to bed every night.

"I couldn't really handle it. It's too much,” she said.

More than half of all patients stop c-pap treatment because they find it cumbersome. This can put them at risk for several dangerous diseases.

Dr. Amit Patel had a different option for Joyce called pro-vent sleep apnea therapy. It attaches right over the patient's nostrils.

"This device takes advantage of the fact that 92 percent or more of people automatically breathe through their nose when they fall asleep,” Dr. Patel said.

In sleep apnea, muscles in the throat relax and cause the airway to collapse. As a result, patients can stop breathing periodically. With the pro-vent device, valves inside open during inhalation and close when the patient exhales. This increases the pressure and may help keep the airway open. Study results show 72 percent of patients had more than a 50 percent reduction in AHI, which is the number of times per hour they stopped breathing at night. Snoring was reduced by 65 percent. And more than 88 percent of patients reported wearing the device all night. There is no mask, tubes or machines, just two small adhesives that Joyce puts on each night. She says it has made a huge difference. And she can enjoy more time with her husband, during the day and at night.

The pro-vent device is covered by some insurance.

It costs about $60 a month.

And the c-pap machine is covered by most insurance companies.

The most common side effects reported by pro-vent users are a sense of nasal congestion or nasal discomfort.

Research Summary:

BACKGROUND: Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Several types of sleep apnea exist, but the most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring, although not everyone who has obstructive sleep apnea snores. Anyone can develop OSA, although it most commonly affects older adults. It's also especially common in people who are overweight.

NEW TREATMENT: Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy is a new clinically-proven treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea and related snoring that does not require a machine, mask, or medications. Provent Therapy is discreet, disposable, and simple to operate. Provent uses a proprietary MicroValve design that creates pressure when you exhale to keep your airway open. The device works much like CPAP therapy, except instead of an external machine, your own breathing creates the pressure that keeps your airway open. Like CPAP, it needs to be worn every night to effectively relieve symptoms of OSA. Provent Therapy may take some getting used to but many say it's worth it. In as little as three nights, you could be sleeping more quietly and peacefully.

NATURAL PREVENTIONS: There are other ways to prevent sleep apnea without having to wear anything while you sleep. By maintaining a healthy body weight you can help reduce some of the constriction on your throat. You can help to prevent sleep apnea from developing in the first place by doing your best to maintain a healthy weight. If you consume alcohol or take certain medications before you go to bed, this could be triggering sleep apnea or make it worse. Your sleep position is also important with sleep apnea - try to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back can increase snoring. Also, lifestyle changes come into play; if you smoke, stopping can help prevent this disorder. Staying fit and exercising can also help prevention.

For More Information, Contact:
Dr. Amit V. Patel

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