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View Full Version : Have any apnea sufferers tried Pro-Vent?



Norman Bernstein
10-12-2017, 10:55 AM
About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and prescribed a CPAP machine.... it was a month of complete hell, and I was completely unable to get accustomed to using it. Perhaps it's because 1) I toss and turn a great deal, in my sleep, and the mask was painful to wear, requiring frequent adjustment through the night, and 2) I don't sleep well, regardless of the apnea... most nights, I have a very hard time falling asleep. You can't be suffering with apnea, if you're not sleeping, to begin with!

Anyhow, my latest sleep doctor suggested I try the Pro-Vent system. It's an adhesive nasal device which is essentially a valve... it adheres to your nostrils, and when you breathe in through your nose, there's no blockage... but when you breathe out through your nose, the passage is restricted somewhat... it's done with a 'flap valve' of sorts. Evidently, that produces the positive airway pressure that prevents apnea. The 'starter kit' provides two night's worth of a low-restriction device, followed by two more nights of a medium restriction device... then 26 nights of the max restriction devices. They're disposable, of course.

Last night was my second night, and I've found the devices to be highly tolerable. Of course, I still have a hard time falling asleep, but I haven't found the devices to be objectionable, or uncomfortable. Of course, while you're awake, the devices do tend to force you to breathe out through your mouth... but according to the literature, when you're sleeping, you won't do that... and from what I can tell when waking up, it appears to be true.

Sadly, Pro-Vent isn't covered by Medicare or other insurance, despite the fact that it's available by prescription only. The cost runs about $2/night, which isn't cheap, either... but if the doctors are right that sleep apnea is a serious health threat, and if a person can't cope with a CPAP machine, it will be worth paying for.

Interestingly, there is an over-the-counter facsimile, called TheraVent, which claims to have about 50% of the restriction (in the 'max' version) of Pro-Vent... but is not FDA approved for the treatment of sleep apnea. It's also a lot less expensive. I haven't tried it.

So far, so good... but I've ordered a recording pulse oximeter, which will allow me to log a night's worth of oxygen saturation, to prove whether or not Pro-Vent is really working, as advertised.

Anyone else try it?

Flying Orca
10-12-2017, 10:59 AM
I haven't, but I took to the CPAP like a duck to water. First night on it was the best sleep I'd had in years, and I can't fall asleep without it now.

Norman Bernstein
10-12-2017, 11:01 AM
It does sort of piss me off that Pro-Vent isn't covered by insurance. It's FDA approved and requires a prescription, so why not? Perhaps it's the cost, although insurance does cover CPAP machines, which run roughly $500, plus the cost of periodic replacement parts, so the total annual cost really isn't all that different, I would think.

CWSmith
10-12-2017, 11:04 AM
I took to the CPAP like a duck to water. First night on it was the best sleep I'd had in years, ....

Me, too. I finally dream again.

SKIP KILPATRICK
10-12-2017, 11:13 AM
I'm really happy with the new quieter c-pap I got in February. I even use it for naps. To help with sleeping ---Ambien (just make sure you plan for 7-8 hours sleep - if not don't take it)

Norman Bernstein
10-12-2017, 11:17 AM
I'm really happy with the new quieter c-pap I got in February. I even use it for naps. To help with sleeping ---Ambien (just make sure you plan for 7-8 hours sleep - if not don't take it)

I have never tried Ambien, although I'd like to... but my understanding is that it's ordinarily contraindicated in patients with sleep apnea. Obviously, sleeping pills are not a long term solution.... but apnea aside, it's been a long time since I've been able to fall asleep quickly, and sleep solidly until the morning. Most nights, I toss and turn until 3AM or later, before finally falling asleep.

SKIP KILPATRICK
10-12-2017, 11:55 AM
My pulmonologist and GP were in agreement that Ambien was fine for me. They said it was more important to have a good nights sleep when compared to any slight risks Ambien might have for me.

Norman Bernstein
10-12-2017, 12:14 PM
My pulmonologist and GP were in agreement that Ambien was fine for me. They said it was more important to have a good nights sleep when compared to any slight risks Ambien might have for me.

I'll ask my sleep doctor about it... but, once again, it's recommended for short term use only, and I need to find a long term solution.

SKIP KILPATRICK
10-12-2017, 12:16 PM
Yeah, I know.... so I won't tell you how long I've been taking it. :ycool:

webishop14
10-12-2017, 01:53 PM
My insurance only allows me to take ambien for 90 days each year. That's not enough sleep, by my lights.

Norman Bernstein
03-12-2018, 12:03 PM
Update:

I did try both Pro-Vent (prescription only) and Theravent (available over the counter).... they're both essentially the same thing, but only Pro-Vent is FDA approved and requires a prescription. The difference between the two systems is little more than the amount of exhalation restriction each provides. The exhalation restriction of Pro-Vent was, IMHO, ridiculous.... I ended up having to exhale through my mouth, which defeats the entire intent of the device. Theravent (which my sleep doctor suggested as an alternative) was little better.... and worse, because it's a one piece device, which leaks badly if your upper lip isn't smoothly shaven.

So, I agreed to give CPAP a try again, and got a ResMed system. Initially, I tried using a 'nasal pillow' type of mask, which is essentially just a device that covers just the nasal cavities.... and it seemed to be OK, except that after about a week, it caused an uncomfortable irritation of my nostrils.

So, I went back to the company and got a nasal-only mask, and I've been using it for about 6 weeks now. I've been VERY compliant, which pleased the sleep doctor.... I can tolerate it, although I can't say I 'like' it...

...but what bothers me is that I can't say that I've noticed much of ANY change in my sleep habits, from it. I STILL want that afternoon nap. I guess I just have to take the doctor's word for it, that it's good for me. Anyhow, my sleep apnea was tested as 'mild', and the ResMed machine is set for the lowest possible pressure (4-8" H2O), unlike the first time I tried CPAP, when they had set it for hurricane strength.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to buy a second machine (which won't be covered by insurance) to use on the boat. The ResMed machine is a pain in the butt to disassemble and carry around... and it draws nearly 70 watts, and operates from 24 volts, not 12 volts, so there's no way to power it while at anchor or on a mooring. I've researched some alternatives, and DeVilbiss has a machine which runs on 12 volts and draws less than half an amp, when the pressure is set for 4-8". It's also only about $350, versus $900 for most other machines, none of which are low power.

CWSmith
03-12-2018, 12:44 PM
About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and prescribed a CPAP machine.... it was a month of complete hell, and I was completely unable to get accustomed to using it. Perhaps it's because 1) I toss and turn a great deal, in my sleep, and the mask was painful to wear, requiring frequent adjustment through the night, and 2) I don't sleep well, regardless of the apnea... most nights, I have a very hard time falling asleep. You can't be suffering with apnea, if you're not sleeping, to begin with!


My wife can't adjust to the mask, but I did immediately.

If you run the hose over the top of the headboard so it passes over the top of your head, it leaves you very free to toss and turn. I do just about every hour and I don't notice the hose at all. When I travel and don't have a head board, I do notice the difference.

Norman Bernstein
03-12-2018, 01:14 PM
My wife can't adjust to the mask, but I did immediately.

If you run the hose over the top of the headboard so it passes over the top of your head, it leaves you very free to toss and turn. I do just about every hour and I don't notice the hose at all. When I travel and don't have a head board, I do notice the difference.

Thankfully, the hose hasn't really been any sort of problem, for me... it's pretty light weight (lighter than the one I originally had, with a Respironics machine), and the Respironics 'Whisp' mask I'm using has an even lighter one.

I still have to do a bit of a balancing act, when it comes to the tightnesss of the mask. I have it as loose as possible, for comfort, but every now and then, the mask will have been shifted, and leak a little. Based on the on-line data I get from ResMed, my leak problem isn't significant.

Nicholas Scheuer
03-12-2018, 01:25 PM
no prob here with a Resperonics CPAP. Been using it for about a decade. I adapt it for 12V operation on our boat.

Norman Bernstein
03-12-2018, 01:27 PM
no prob here with a Resperonics CPAP. Been using it for about a decade. I adapt it for 12V operation on our boat.

I checked the Respironics power requirements... pretty high, considering. That's why I might buy the DeVilbiss machine.... only about 4 watts, at 12 volts, with my pressure setting.

CWSmith
03-12-2018, 01:49 PM
I still have to do a bit of a balancing act, when it comes to the tightnesss of the mask. I have it as loose as possible, for comfort, but every now and then, the mask will have been shifted, and leak a little. Based on the on-line data I get from ResMed, my leak problem isn't significant.

The leaking does bother me. It tickles my face and keeps me awake. I also find I have a condensation problem that requires me to run my finger under the mask seal every few hours, but I figure that's me. I do sleep much better with it.

Flying Orca
03-12-2018, 02:00 PM
I shouldn't question your take on the power requirements, as you've probably forgotten more about power supplies than I'll ever know, but I'm pretty sure the adapter for my Philips Respironic model runs on 12V or 24V (travel anywhere). And it's very portable, especially without the humidifier.

https://papsmart.com/dreamstation-pro-with-heated-tubing?language=en&currency=CAD&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2sT_p7vn2QIVwx2BCh01aAvDEAQYASAB EgJmhvD_BwE

Bob Adams
03-12-2018, 02:58 PM
The leaking does bother me. It tickles my face and keeps me awake. I also find I have a condensation problem that requires me to run my finger under the mask seal every few hours, but I figure that's me. I do sleep much better with it.

RemZzzs mask liners will take care of leaking and condensation. Another accessory I highly recommend is the SoClean sanitizing machine. I was getting recurrent chest and head colds last year, seems my CPAP system was reinfecting me as soon as I got well. Knock on wood, it's been over a year with the sanitizer and no reoccurrences
https://www.sleepdirect.com/img/75ef/20130307-remzzzs-studio-product-004_jpg_egdetail.jpg.

Norman Bernstein
03-12-2018, 03:34 PM
I shouldn't question your take on the power requirements, as you've probably forgotten more about power supplies than I'll ever know, but I'm pretty sure the adapter for my Philips Respironic model runs on 12V or 24V (travel anywhere). And it's very portable, especially without the humidifier.


Actually that would be fairly uncommon; the power supply (a 'cord bump' type) would very likely be a 'universal' input type (100-280VAC, 50/60 Hz), but the output would be fixed at either 12 volts, or 24 volts (the latter is what the ResMed unit uses).

The voltage, however, isn't the only consideration. The ResMed unit operates on 24VDC, but the cord bump is rated for 3.75 AMPS of output... that's 90 watts, which is a lot more power than I'd want to be using overnight, on a mooring. The DeVilbiss one, courtesy of a chart that the manufacturer sent me, draws only about 375mA at 12 volts, when set for 4-8" of H2O.

Of course, any 120VAC product could be operated from an inverter powered by the boat's batteries.... but that's a LOT of power.

Note: the DeVilbiss power spec does NOT include either a heated output, nor a humidifier.... neither of which I really need.

Katherine
03-12-2018, 03:48 PM
Ambien: I used to take it. Believe all the warnings about do activites while still asleep!