EPAP helps stop the snore in people without sleep apnea

As many as 90 million of us snore every night. It’s something many of us don’t realize we are doing, and for some it’s tough to find relief.

But a new device to help people who snore.

Patients who are diagnosed with the chronic condition sleep apnea may get help from a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP.

For those estimated 50 million of us who don’t have sleep apnea, there’s EPAP, a new way to stop the snore.

Until three years ago, 61-year old Janet Hayes had no idea what her night-time breathing was like

“A buzz saw? It was surprisingly loud,” Janet said.

Janet’s a widow and sleeps alone. But after sharing a hotel room with her daughter on vacation, Janet knew she needed to find something to stop the snoring.

“I tried a mouthpiece," she said. "It made me gag. I tried CPAP, and it leaked.”

Janet does not have sleep apnea. She searched online for snoring solutions and found Theravent. It’s a disposable adhesive strip that covers the nose and has a one-way valve system.

“It allows the patient to breathe in freely, but when they breathe out, the valves close, generating extra air pressure back in the breathing passages,” Dr. Ryan Soose said.

EPAP, or expiratory positive airway pressure, stabilizes the throat and reduces the vibration or flutter that causes snoring.

“There’s really minimal to no risk in putting a little adhesive strip on your nose,” Soose said.

Janet said she knew she had found her answer on a recent European trip, when she shared a cabin with her friend.

“I can tell you, she told me through the whole cruise I wasn’t snoring,” Janet said.

Theravent strips come in different strengths and are available over the counter, without a prescription. Soose has no ties or financial interest in the company that manufactures Theravent.

REPORT: MB #1234

BACKGROUND: Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring may occur nightly or intermittently. Persons most at risk are males and those who are overweight, but snoring is a problem of both genders, although it is possible that women do not present with this complaint as frequently as men. Snoring usually becomes more serious as people age. It can cause disruptions to your own sleep and your bed partner's sleep. It can lead to fragmented and unrefreshing sleep. The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be causally linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease. About one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea.
(Source: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/other-sleep-disorders/snoring)

TREATMENT: Snorers are generally unaware of their snoring, and must rely on the observations of their bed partners. Some snorers may wake up at night choking and gasping for breath, but this occurs relatively infrequently. Treatment may include lifestyle modification (avoidance of risk factors, sleep position training, treatment of allergies), surgery (generally on the back of the throat and roof of the mouth, or the nose), appliances (mainly oral appliances constructed by a dentist experienced in treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, but also other appliances such as nasal dilators), and sometimes CPAP (a continuous positive airway pressure appliance which blows room air into the back of the throat thus preventing it from collapse).
(Source: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/other-sleep-disorders/snoring/page/0/1)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Ryan Soose, MD an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of Sleep Medicine and Upper Airway Surgery at UPMC talks about the many aspects of life that snoring affects, and how Theravent may be the answer for some patients. Dr. Soose said, “Theravent is a disposable adhesive strip that covers the nostril and it contains a unique one-way valve system. It allows the patient to breathe in freely but when they breathe out the valves close, generating extra air pressure back in the breathing passage. This extra air pressure then stabilizes the throat and reduces the vibration and flutter which is snoring.” There is a version of Theravent that is also made for more significant sleep apnea.
(Source: Ryan Soose, MD)