Nasal Disks for Treatment of Sleep Apnea and Snoring - Topic Overview
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a device (Provent) that attaches to the outside of the nose for the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. The device, called an expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) device, looks like a disk. One disk is attached over each nostril. A valve positioned over the nostril does not block air that you breathe in. But the valve makes it harder to breathe out. A little back-pressure builds up in the airways, and that pressure can help keep the airways open during sleep.
One study tested the device on people with mild to severe sleep apnea. Results showed that it reduced the number of times breathing was disrupted while sleeping.1 Use of the nasal disks also reduced daytime sleepiness in the people who used them.
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea -- a condition in which relaxation of the muscles around the tongue and throat causes the tissues to block airflow to the lungs while you sleep -- there are a number of treatment options to discuss with your doctor. Two of the most widely used and most effective are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances, or mouth guards.