With more than 18 million American adults suffering from some form of sleep apnea, and the bulky CPAP masks being such a nuisance that many of those prescribed it simply don't use it, a small and disposable sleep apnea device approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008 is fast gaining steam.
Called Provent Therapy, the device is essentially a small patch consisting of one plug for each nostril that is held into place with hypoallergenic adhesive. The tech is simple: each plug provides enough air pressure to keep the airways open throughout the night.
This is a similar approach to Provent's larger cousin, the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask, which also uses pressure to prevent the airways from constricting. But each plug contains a tiny valve the size of a pinhole that, during the exhale, creates enough resistance to provide backpressure. This pressure dilates the muscles that typically collapse in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, causing the fits and starts that interrupt sleep.… Read more