I imagine there may be people searching for the answers to questions about Provent sleep apnea therapy that I had a few days ago. I couldn’t find the answers on the internet, so having figured them out for myself, perhaps I can save others some time and aggravation.
Q: I can’t breathe with these things. I wake up feeling like I’m suffocating. Aren’t there lower resistance versions?
A: Apart from the few nights of training patches included in the start-up kit, not that I’ve found. But, you can turn the standard resistance Provent patches into lower resistance ones by peeling a small section of each patch off your nose. I’ve done this for several nights in a row now, sleeping well. I suppose one could consider widening the hole in the valve (maybe with a drill bit?) but I haven’t bothered. An advantage to my approach is that I find that there are portions of then night during which I can tolerate higher resistance. During those, I press more of the patch on. Other portions, I peel more away, but in all cases leaving enough on to feel some resistance.
Q: These are expensive. Any way to reduce the cost?
A: Yep. You can use each pair of Provent patches for more than one night. I’ve easily gotten two nights out of a pair, by peeling them off carefully in the morning and returning them to the backing paper. I would bet there will be occasions when I could even get three nights. I suppose if one could find the right liquid adhesive (safe for skin), one could reuse a pair for many nights.
Q: Why doesn’t anyone discuss these issues on the internet?
A: I can only guess. Though many may try Provent, I suspect very few people actually get through more than a few nights before giving up. Of those that do, some are fine with it as is. Some of those struggling aren’t the type to hit the web with questions/answers. It ends up a niche product, and the sleep apnea forums are overwhelmed with CPAP Q&A. It’s too bad, because Provent can be very useful, yet challenging. Hopefully this post is of some help to others.