Sleep Care

A Look at Provent Therapy

In the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) has been the gold standard since it’s introduction in 1981. However, many sleep apnea sufferers cannot tolerate CPAP and continue to search for newer and better treatment options. Oral appliances and surgical procedures, such as UPPP have been popular alternatives for years, yet both come with significant drawbacks as well. Recently a new treatment option has been introduced, Provent Therapy. Classified as a nasal appliance, each Provent device resembles a small, round adhesive bandage. One of these bandages is affixed to each nostril by hypoallergenic adhesive and contains a micro-valve. The therapy is similar to CPAP in that it relies on air pressure to keep the airway from closing. When the patient breathes in the valve is open, leading to relatively normal inhalation. During exhalation, the valve activates and restricts the passage of air. This increases the resistance in the airway, causing the positive airway pressure similar to CPAP. The device is disposable and created as a one-time use product. They do not require a machine or mask, powered only by the user’s

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breathing. Provent was approved by the FDA in 2008 and is recommended for use in patients with moderate to severe OSA who have an index of respiratory events

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per hour up to 60. The success rate is judged by reduction of this index by at least 50%. Clinical trials of Provent Therapy have shown a reduction in respiratory events of 52%, with 88% of the users able to wear the appliance throughout the entire night. Due to the small and unobtrusive nature of the product, Provent Therapy has received a lot of attention from those looking for alternatives to the cumbersome nature of CPAP. As an alternative to CPAP, Provent eliminates the need for electricity, noise of the machine, cleaning, maintenance, travel hassles, and many of the numerous compliance issues often associated wit CPAP. Presently, Provent is only available by prescription and is not covered by insurances, so the cost of the product could be a concern for some patients. For some patients that tend to breathe through their mouth at night, the device could be less effective. Like CPAP, most patients require some time to adjust to the use and feel of Provent, typically around a week. Some patients report occasional sore throats during use. OSA patients interested in Provent should consult with their physician. A trial pack is available to be ordered for home use so that the patient can evaluate the comfort and effectiveness of this treatment for themselves. For more information visit