The Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy treatment is a new type of product on the market very different from other mouthpieces I have used previously.
Specifically, it is designed for and intended to treat OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) sufferers; whereas other over the counter mouthpieces are for snoring only.
I have tested other mouthpieces before such as MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device), chin straps, TRD (Tongue Retaining Device) and others; however, this was the first nasal device to use EPAP (Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure) that I have ever tested.
I was excited to try it, and was curious if it would work at all.
An quick look at the Provent Therapy
Provent are nasal covers that are placed over the nostrils as you sleep.
The covers look very similar to band aids, but that’s where the similarity ends. There is one for each nostril and each one has a large hole in the center covered by a mesh type of fabric.
Breathing is done normally through the nostrils; however, exhaling through the large holes creates a pressure on the airway which opens it and allows breathing to remain normal during the night.
The product comes in packages of 30, 60, 90, or 180 pieces at a time due to the fact that you can only use one pair of covers per night.
What is OSA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition triggered by a complete or partial blockage of the upper respiratory tract.
When there is even a partial blockage, oxygen that enters the bloodstream is reduced and this can cause a wide range of various health issues.
Most people who suffer from OSA are not aware they suffer from it.
Personally, I had several symptoms and luckily my wife noticed my snoring and apnea at night.
Common symptoms include sleepiness during the day, excess fatigue, obesity and more.
The only way to get diagnosed with OSA by a medical professional.
You cannot self-diagnose the condition and if you are considering buying the Provent you must see a physician first.
How Provent helps
Nasal EPAP is a modern technique that is used for treating OSA.
By breathing in through the nostrils, the nasal covers then force the user to exhale through their mouth. The nasal covers air flow can only travel one way, and blocks any exhaling from occurring.
By forcing the sleeper to exhale through their mouth, this also causes pressure which thereby keeps the airway open as necessary during the night.
This is a recommended alternative to using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for people who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.
One downside from using EPAP is if you have any type of nasal obstruction such as sinuses or allergies using it will not be effective.
The Purchasing Process
It is important to consult with a doctor before using Provent and to make sure you are a sufferer of OSA.
If you are not, you can stop right here; this product is not for you. For those who snore without OSA, it’s best to go with an over the counter mouthpiece.
Unlike other anti-snoring devices I have tried in the past, the Provent could not be purchased online and could not even be purchased after one medical consultation. If you have never been diagnosed with sleep apnea you will have to go through certain tests before you can be prescribed the Provent.
The company website lists physicians around the United States available to make an appointment for testing and buying the product.
The United States is not the only option for purchasing Provent, other countries such as Canada, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, and Malaysia are also available.
In the international locations, there are phone numbers available to call and ask where to buy Provent in each country.
The first step I had to take for being able to use the Provent therapy was actually being diagnosed with sleep apnea. Not all snorers are sufferers of sleep apnea.
I met with a doctor who asked me a series of questions such as my lifestyle and if I suffered from certain health issues like daytime fatigue to determine if I qualified for a sleep study or not.
I did and moved onto the next step in the process which was the actual sleep study.
The sleep study consisted of being fitted with various sensors used to measure my heart, brain, and lung activity during the night.
This would determine how much oxygen I was receiving and if my breathing patterns were normal or not.
I slept through the entire night at the center (which was difficult to fall asleep at first), and then had to wait 2 weeks to see the doctor again for my diagnosis.
I ended up being diagnosed with a mild case of sleep apnea, and my doctor then explained the options available to me.
I asked if I could try the Provent 30-day starter kit, and he approved.
Achieving the best Fit
I went to pick up the starter kit at the doctor’s office, and it came packaged with more than just the nasal covers.
A very thorough instruction booklet and how the covers work came with it too.
The instructions suggest to increase the resistance slowly over the first couple nights of use as you get adjusted to it. Specifically, there are different ‘levels’ of the product to use.
The lowest resistance is known as phase 1, then the medium resistance is known as phase 2, and finally the standard resistance is known as phase 3 covers.
The company recommends to eventually get to phase 3 and use that as a long-term solution for sleep apnea.
Now to fit the product I would start with phase 1 for the first two nights. I removed the adhesive and placed the side tab facing outward on my nostril.
I lined it up, and stretched the skin slightly so it would cover the nostril completely and not feel loose after applied. I pressed it up against the nostril and completed the seal and breathed to verify no air was leaking through.
I could also feel around where the adhesive was to make sure there were no bumps or creases.
A very easy fitting process, and now that one nostril was complete I would repeat the same exact process for the next nostril.
This was a very unique product. I was concerned about sometimes switching to breathing thru my mouth during the night or ‘blowing off’ the covers from my nostrils if I exhaled too hard thru my nose.
I was not used to ever wearing something to block my nose from inhaling or exhaling. I was happy to not have anything inside my mouth for the night, but was a little concerned about having something over my nose.
I woke up the next morning feeling great and had a lot of energy.
This normally means I slept well during the entire night. I quickly touched the tip of my nose to see if the Provent stayed in place, and sure enough it did.
My wife normally goes to sleep after me and she said she heard no snoring from my side of the bed which confirmed my snore free night of sleep.
The product was not completely side effect free as I noticed a few issues upon waking up. My mouth felt drier than normal which is contrary to what normally happens when using a MAD device for example.
Usually, with a MAD device I wake up with excess saliva and even some drool on the pillow from the first night of using it. With the Provent, the opposite happened and my mouth felt dry.
I also woke up with a little sinus irritation. Once in a while my sinuses will act up and it will prevent me from using a mouthpiece with no air holes, but this was the first time an actual anti-snoring product caused any sinus discomfort for me.
Finally, a minor issue was I initially had trouble falling asleep wearing the nasal covers. Most likely because I was so unaccustomed to wearing something like this at night. I predict it will be easier to fall asleep as I continue my testing.
Let’s Talk Price
The price of the Provent is quite expensive.
Some sleep apnea sufferers might be able to cover the cost of the product through insurance, so I recommend investigating this prior to paying full price.
If you have to pay the complete cost yourself, the price per nasal cover turns out to be approximately $2 per cover.
A quick calculation shows that using this every night for a year can quickly get out of hand, for a total of $700.
About the Company
Theravent makes other snoring products which can be purchased over the counter.
Up to today, over 4 million Provent products have been sold to OSA sufferers.
A remarkable number.
Here are a few Reviews from Actual Customers
A Provent review by each customer varies from average to positive.
Posted below are some example of the feedback written by Provent users.
“The CPAP was too much for me, and after a few hours of sleeping I just didn’t even want to use it anymore. The Provent therapy made a huge difference in my quality of sleep and life. A little pricey, but worth it.” – Antonia
“Took me 2 weeks to get used to using Provent. When I am not sleeping, they are really annoying, but when I am finally sleeping it works and that’s what counts. I have not had any apnea episodes since using the Provent therapy. This was a life saver for my OSA. Already been using it for years and don’t need anything else!” – Jim
“Did not work for me, had dry mouth and never really felt well rested. The dryness in my mouth indicates I kept breathing thru my mouth during the night. Price is outrageous.” – Mike
Positives and Negatives
If you suffer from sleep apnea and do not want to use the CPAP machine, Provent could be a viable option for you. Most importantly you must weigh the pros and cons before making the purchase.
- The fitting after getting the green light to buy the product is very easy. Sticking the adhesives to your nose is as easy as it can get.
- Nothing is placed inside the mouth, which is a nice alternative from the infinite mouthpieces that are used by being inserted into the mouth.
- The product contains no latex which is good for anyone who has sensitive skin. I did not feel any irritation.
- Can breathe through the mouth perfectly fine which is another plus for those who like to breathe through their mouth while sleeping.
- The product is cleared by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which means it passed certain regulations that products that are not cleared have not.
- The product worked and I felt fine the next morning.
- Those who have dentures, caps, crowns, or any type of dental issue will not have any problems using the product.
- Very expensive. Using it night after night for a year brings a yearly cost to over $700 – almost 10 times the price of an expensive mouthpiece.
- Many steps needed to actually get your hands on the product. Not only did I have to make an appointment with a physician, I had to engage in a sleep study and a follow-up appointment, and finally an approval by my doctor.
- If you suffer from any type of nasal blockage, this product will be impossible to use.
- Not possible to be used by snorers only, only available for OSA sufferers.
Provent therapy effectively treated my sleep apnea and worked.
I personally believe that the Provent is overkill for those who do not have OSA, i.e. those who snore only.
The minor issues I noticed while using it were gone after a couple weeks of use, but the biggest issue can only be resolved by the company itself.
The price is in my opinion outrageous.
Almost ten times the price compared to the higher end mouthpieces.
The process to actually get a hold of one is also cumbersome, many doctors’ appointments and an entire sleep study is needed.
If you do not suffer from OSA, this product is not for you and you should definitely go with an over the counter solution.
My Rating: 3.2
Which Product Should I Buy?
With well over 100 products on the market it can obviously be quite daunting to decide, “Which one?”
To help ease the decision process I have created a comparison chart where you can effortlessly assess each product and its features, price, pros and cons. I have also written several detailed reviews for those devices that I believe to be leading products.
If you would rather not spend a lot of time reading reviews, please take a look at the article linked here: My Mouthpiece Recommendation. It’s a list of three products which I believe, based on my extensive experience, are the best options available to people who suffer from snoring.