Patients who are diagnosed with the chronic condition sleep apnea may get help from a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP. For the estimated 50 million people who don’t have sleep apnea, there’s EPAP, a new way to stop the snore.
Until three years ago, 61-year-old Janet Hayes had no idea her night-time breathing was like.
“A buzz saw? It was surprisingly loud,” Hayes said.
Hayes is a widow and sleeps alone. But after sharing a hotel room with her daughter on vacation Hayes knew she needed to find something to stop the snoring.
“I tried a mouthpiece. It made me gag. I tried CPAP and it leaked,” she said.
Hayes does not have sleep apnea. She searched online for snoring solutions and found Theravent. It’s a disposable adhesive strip that covers the nose and has a one-way valve system.
Ryan Soose, MD, Otolaryngologist and Sleep Medicine Physician at UPMC said, “It allows the patient to breathe in freely, but when they breathe out the valves close, generating extra air pressure back in the breathing passages.”
This is EPAP, or expiratory positive airway pressure. The air pressure stabilizes the throat and reduces the vibration or flutter that causes snoring.
“There’s really minimal to no risk in putting a little adhesive strip on your nose,” Dr. Soose said.
Hayes says she knew she had found her answer on a recent European trip. She shared a cabin with her friend.
“I can tell you, she told me through the whole cruise I wasn’t snoring,” Hayes said.
Theravent strips come in different strengths and are available over the counter, without a prescription. Sleep specialist Dr. Soose has no ties or financial interest in the company that manufactures Theravent.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.