20 to 30 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. For decades, the only treatment 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 a 69 year old with severe sleep apnea. He hasn't been able to get a good night's sleep for most of his life. He says he wakes up 48 times an hour.
The condition deprives him of oxygen, putting him at risk of cardiovascular diseases and leaving him constantly exhausted.
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.
Doctors gave him new, tiny nostril valves called Provent to try.
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.