CPAP Therapy has been clinically proven and labelled the 'gold standard' treatment for Sleep Apnea for a long time. Its non-invasive constant pressurized airflow in and out from a machine delivered to you via a mask has nearly 100% success performance rate. The most challenging obstacle for CPAP therapy is getting people compliant and comfortable with therapy. Many of our clients have heard about EPAP and often ask us about it. Here at CPAPmachines.ca, we don't sell EPAP therapy, but doctors have recommended it as an alternative method to treat OSA (along with positional devices, oral appliances and surgery) when CPAP therapy isn't right for their patients.
What's EPAP therapy you ask? Great question. Keep reading as we breakdown down what EPAP therapy is and provide an overview of this technology in treating OSA.
What is EPAP?
EPAP is an acronym that stands for Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure. This type of modern technology builds resistance on your exhalation to create positive pressure pushing back against your soft tissues to keep your airway open. The theory behind it is your airway collapses during exhalations resulting in apneic episodes or snoring and the pressure against the exhale will keep your airway open.
Provent and Theravent Therapy
2 products on the market treating Sleep Apnea with this technology are Provent Therapy and Thervent Therapy. There are no machines, masks, tubing or distilled water. These products are marketed as disposable nasal patches you attach to your nostrils and claim to be a revolutionary alternative to CPAP, which is less invasive and lightweight.
How it works
Simply put, the technology allows you to breathe in the air normally but makes exhaling more difficult. It's done via mini microvalves for unobstructed airflow in and the microvalves close during expiration restricting airflow creating EPAP pressure, as a result, it keeps your airways open. Just like CPAP, this type of EPAP Therapy requires a prescription.
What's the difference between CPAP and EPAP Therapy?
CPAP therapy which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure provides pressure on both the inhalation and exhalation delivered by a motorized machine and mask, while the EPAP Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure is a one-way resistor you attach to your nostrils only during the exhalation creating resistance pressure. According to Provent's manufacturers, Provent Sleep Therapy, LLC, Provent patches have been shown to be effective in clinical studies and has shown improvements across various forms of OSA.
The Ugly of EPAP Therapy
Whether or not insurance covers this type of therapy, users have reported that using disposable patches can add up. At about $2USD a pair, you're shelling out hundreds of dollars over the course of just one year. Some may argue the cost is more than the cost of a CPAP or mouth guard over time.
Another negative of this product is if you suffer from any type of sinus or nasal blockage, this product is completely not usable. If you're sick for a week or two, you basically cannot use it the entire duration of your cold and symptoms of your apnea may creep back.
Is EPAP Therapy right for you?
Just like CPAP therapy, EPAP therapy and other forms of Apnea therapy is not for everyone. Provent has been used to treat mild and moderate Apnea and is not often recommended for those with severe (AHI >30). Be sure to consult with your doctor and always follow your doctor's recommendations.
For us here at CPAPmachines.ca, patients always ask about EPAP and our experience with them. At the end of the day, everyone is different. It may work for some and not for others. It's an alternative option if you really want to give it a try. With everything, there are always pros and cons and will have to weigh out the two. However, for us, we'll stick with the gold standard CPAP therapy - the reputation didn't come without good results.
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