Provent Nose Plugs for Sleep Apnea
January 14, 2010
I have to admit, the idea that you could treat sleep apnea with nose plugs was very interesting. Ventus Medical’s Provent is a totally different type of sleep apnea treatment using adhesive plugs that works by making breathing out slightly more difficult through your nose. When you inhale, your breathing is normal, but as you exhale, a slight bit of resistance is created, creating a gentle amount of positive pressure downstream in the throat, preventing the tongue and soft palate from collapsing.
The scientific explanation is a little complicated (even for me), but the gist of it is that at the end of exhalation, that’s when your throat muscles are most prone to collapse. So by slightly increasing the pressure, a stent-like effect is created, just like with CPAP.
Their study involved 28 people who used the device over 3 nights in the lab. On average, the AHI dropped about 50% (19.1 to 8.2) and after 30 days at home, it stayed low at 10.6. Other studies have also shown an average drop of about 50%. As expected, patents with severe sleep apnea didn’t respond as well. You can find out more about the results at the companies’ website.
Another study showed that 94% of patients continued using the device for a significant number of hours on a regular nightly basis.
Without a doubt, Provent does work to various degrees in various people. But just like every other new sleep apnea treatment option, it’s not a “magic bullet” that cures sleep apnea for 100% of patients. Looking at the numbers, It seems like it’s no better than other minimally invasive options (except that it’s not invasive).
Practically speaking, I’ve had limited experience using this device in a handful of patients with mixed results. Some patients like it and others can’t use it at all.
It’s not covered by insurance yet, and it’ll cost about $60 per month (or about $2 per day). There’s also a $20, 10-day trial pack. If you’re interested in trying out Provent, an examination in the office is needed to make sure that you’re a right candidate.
To learn more about Provent Therapy, click here.