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Smart Woman: Sleep Apnea Device

20 to 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and for decades the only sure treatment option was a bulky breathing mask. Now a small and easy-to-use device is getting the attention of sleep doctors and their patients.
Arthur Chill is devoted to his new bedtime routine.

The 69 year old has severe sleep apnea and hasn't been able to get a good night's sleep for most of his life.

The condition deprives him of oxygen, putting him at risk of cardiovascular disease and leaving him constantly exhausted.

His snoring interrupted his wife's sleep for 17 years.

Arthur Chill first tried to treat his sleep apnea with a CPAP mask. It forces air through the nose and into the throat. But it doesn't work for everyone.
 
Authur Chill said, "It's very obtrusive. I felt like I was an astronaut."

So doctors gave him these new, tiny nostril valves called Provent.

They generate the same type of pressure to the throat but they're generating with their own breathing by using this device.

When patients inhale, the valves inside the nostril open, allowing for unobstructed air flow.
When they exhale, the values close, partially restricting airflow, maintaining pressure in the airway and keeping the throat open.

Provent only works for patients who breathe through their noses.

Dr. Jeffrey Barasch said, "It tends to be more successful in patients who have milder sleep apnea or people who just snore."

But it's working in chill's severe case.

Chill said, "I'm refreshed in the morning and I don't have the fear of a heart attack happening."

And that's allowing Chill and his wife to enjoy their days and nights together.

Provent is not covered by most insurance companies, but the device makers are working to change that. Without insurance, each disposable Provent runs about a dollar.
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