The recent media splash over Sleep Apnea and the possible effects of the condition have led to many low tech, non prescription solutions. For most men and the women who put up with snoring, the fix has been limited to either a mouth guard or some variation of the infamously mind boggling CPAP Machine. The latest prescription but not covered by insurance cure, is actually very comfortable and it works. It’s called Provent.
Provent looks and works very much like two oval bandages which fit right over the nostrils. The largest part of the center of the bandage features a thin mesh and in the center of the mesh is a small hole not much bigger than one which a needle would make. Basically the sticky bandage serves to open the nostrils, while the mesh and the smaller hole allow breathing to be much more focused. The bandage part seems to have a similar effect as the strip which goes on top of the nose but since it is over the nostrils there is much less discomfort. From what we’ve seen there is little if any discomfort.
The problems we’ve found with mouth guards are twofold. The problem with the cheaper thin plastic without a latch sold via “As Seen on TV” Infomercials, is they are not well built and have a tendency to fall out of the mouth during sleep. The much stronger type fitted by a dentist, often cause discomfort in the teeth. Many users complain they feel like their teeth are moving and being pulled unnaturally. This leaves them worried which can hinder sleep by itself.
The CPAP has worked for a lot of patients but there has been a growing concern even as the machine has progressed from early crude models. It is bulky, patients don’t like the air blowing in their face and while more quiet models have been developed, it can be noisy and annoying. In addition there is the transportation factor. A businessman who travels a lot can find it cumbersome.
Provent works in three stages although the first two stages cover only the first four days of use and only the first time use. The basic difference is the placement of the small needle sized hole. It varies during the stages. Once into Stage Three the hole in the bandage tab is in the same spot.
On first use you are told to breathe with your mouth open as you normally do if you breathe incorrectly! Within minutes you are actually comfortably breathing properly through your nose. There is skepticism of course but when it works it is pretty amazing especially for those who have used the other solutions in the past.
Cost of the device from doctors we’ve surveyed is about $2 per application which works out to about $60 per month. Again, this is not yet covered by insurance although at the moment with the minimal cost to the patient, this isn’t a bad thing. Considering commercials touting devices to cure Sleep Apnea state you can develop any number of fatal diseases if you don't take care of the condition, the cost is very low.
About the Author
Michelle Roberge is a healthcare industry professional with an interest in NHS joint working.
This article is for information only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of RxEconsult, LLC.
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