Arthur Chill is devoted to his new bedtime routine. In a matter of seconds, he tapes two tiny valves to his nostrils.
"Voila, done! Ready to go to bed," he said.
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. He was waking up 48 times an hour. 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.
"It's very obtrusive. I felt like I was an astronaut," Chill said.
So doctors gave him new, tiny nostril valves called Provent.
"So they're generating the same type of pressure to the throat, but they're generating with their own breathing by using this device," said Dr. Jeffrey Barasch of the Valley Hospital Center for Sleep Medicine.
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.
"It tends to be more successful in patients who have milder sleep apnea or people who just snore," Barasch said.
But it's working in Chill's severe case.
"I'm refreshed in the morning and I don't have the fear of a heart attack happening," Chill said.
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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