Sleep Apnea Sufferers Get New Weapon Called 'Provent'

James Johnson

Sufferers of extreme sleep apnea don't have many options, in fact the only feasible piece of technology until recently was the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine which is bulky, rather loud at times and uncomfortable. CPAP requires a mask to be worn that pumps air through a patients nostrils to keep their airways open at night.

In America alone 18 million people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea according to the National Sleep Foundation and now they can live with that fight in a much more comfortable manner thanks to Provent.

Provent is a new device that doesn't require large pieces of equipment but rather offers a small patch that fits over a persons nose with two small plugs in each nostril. As a sleep apean sufferer inhales the devices valve opens, allowing air to flow in freely. As the patient exhales the vale closes causing air to be directed out through two small channels, thus increasing the pressure in the airway while helping it stay open.

Provent has a big statistic on its side, more than half of those who try CPAP eventually quite using it.

The biggest drawback to Provent might be its cost which comes in at $2 per night and it's not covered by insurance. Provent also only works for half the people who try it. Although Provent has also been shown effective against nasal congestions.

Dr. Donald Greenblatt, director of the University of Rochester Sleep Disorders Center tells ABC News:

"It may be effective, more so in patients with snoring alone and those with mild-moderate sleep apnea," and "It also may be useful for travel in patients using CPAP at home."