How Does EPAP Therapy Work? Is EPAP As Effective As CPAP? Update 10/2022

In the United States, up to 9% of the population has OSA, the most common form of sleep apnea. When you’re asleep, you’re prone to snoring. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a variety of negative health effects, including excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches, exhaustion, and the inability to concentrate.

Doctors often recommend a device to keep the airway open during sleep when a patient is diagnosed with OSA. An oral appliance, an expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) device, a bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), a CPAP machine, or a BiPAP machine are all viable alternatives to the more widely prescribed CPAP equipment. Patients with central or mixed sleep apnea may also benefit from the use of some of these devices, albeit this is less common.
EPAP Therapy Is An Effective CPAP Alternative

To better understand how EPAP therapy varies from CPAP therapy and how to choose the right sleep apnea treatment for you, we’ll dig deeper into EPAP therapy today.

How Does EPAP Therapy Work

People with mild to moderate sleep apnea who breathe through their nose should use EPAP therapy. A seal is formed around the nostrils by means of custom-made nose cones.

The nose cones have valves built into them that allow you to breathe normally even while your nostrils are blocked. Because the valves seal and decrease the amount of space through which exiting air can escape, this creates the necessary pressure to open your airway.

EPAP Therapy: Top Two Products

The Bongo RX and Provent are the two most popular EPAP devices on the market today.

Bongo RX Provent
Uses Nose Cones with Built-In Valves Uses Adhesive Pads with Small Valves
Lasts 90 Days One use
Optional Headgear for a More Secure Fit Uses No Headgear
Made of Silicone Made of Hypoallergenic Adhesive
Exhaling Creates the Pressure to Open Your Airway Exhaling Creates the Pressure to Open Your Airway

Now that we’ve covered the most important aspects of the Bongo RX and Provent, let’s delve a little deeper and examine them in further detail.

Bongo RX Review

The Bongo RX is smaller and more advanced than the Provent since it employs silicone nose cones instead of adhesive pads to seal the nostril. Bongo RX nose cones will last longer and generate less waste than Provent because of their unique design. Provent is disposed of each night, whereas Bongo RX lasts for 90 days.

The Bongo RX has some advantages over the Bongo, despite the fact that they operate in a similar manner. Each nose cone of the Bongo RX is durable and flexible, and the seal around the nostrils is comfortable. As a bonus, the Bongo RX is lightweight and portable (in many cases fitting into a jacket pocket).

You’ll need an EPAP prescription from your doctor to get started with Bongo RX.

Purchase the Bongo RX Starter Pack after receiving your prescription. All sizes of nose cones, a travel case, and headgear are included in the Starter Pack. A 90-day trial period will allow you to determine which nose cone size is best for you after your first purchase.

Bongo RX Annual Pack is the best way to get a year’s supply of nose cones in your preferred size. Four nose cones are included in each annual pack (each lasting 90 days).

Provent Review

Several years before Bongo RX, Provent was one of the most popular EPAP therapies. It’s easier for first-timers to get started because of the low cost of the starting kit, which makes it more affordable to see if you can endure it. Provent seals around the nostrils with hypoallergenic glue. You can open your airway by exhaling, which causes the valves in the adhesive ovals to partially close, producing the necessary pressure.

Provent is an all-in-one solution. It doesn’t matter how big or small your nostrils are, because each adhesive oval has a wide enough base to seal around them.

EPAP treatment, like the Bongo RX, requires a prescription before you can buy it. You can get the Provent 30-Day Starter Pack with your prescription once you have it. What’s in the Starter Pack?

  • Phase 1 Prohibits Single-Use Pairs With Two Pairs.
  • Phase 2 Provent Single-Use Pairs, Two Pairs.
  • Sixty-six Single Use Phase 3 Prohibition Pairs.

If you run out of your first supply, you’ll need to re-order. Buying in bulk will save you more money than buying in 30-day increments would. Provent comes in 30-, 90-, and 180-day supply options.

What Is an Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) Device?

For those who are unable or unwilling to use CPAP therapy, an EPAP device is an emerging treatment option for sleep apnea. During the course of the night, an EPAP is inserted into one’s nostrils. To create pressure, this valve merely relies on the sleeper’s own breath when they exhale. Inhalation is more likely to occur when the airway is open because of these physical changes, which reduces the lapses in breathing that define sleep apnea. EPAPs, in contrast to CPAPs, don’t increase pressure upon inhalation like CPAPs do.

EPAP devices have been found to be an effective treatment for sleep apnea in numerous investigations. Using an EPAP machine drastically reduced the number of times persons with OSA stopped breathing while they slept, as well as the amount of time they slept throughout the day. The effectiveness and safety of EPAP and CPAP in treating OSA were found to be equal in a research comparing the two treatments.

People with OSA who were studied over the course of a year showed great adherence to EPAP, as long as the treatment was functioning at the three-month mark. There were fewer breathing interruptions, less snoring, and decreased daytime tiredness among those who used EPAP devices.

What Is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine?

Inhaling and exhaling are made more difficult by a CPAP machine. This pressure reduces the frequency with which the airway closes at night for patients who suffer from sleep apnea. A sleeper using a CPAP machine needs use a mask and a tubing to connect to the machine. Mouth and nose masks are available, as are masks that merely cover the nose or are nose plugs that slip into the nose. Although CPAP machines are widely accepted as safe and effective, some people have difficulty using them.

Why Can’t Some People Use CPAP Machines?

However, in certain cases, the use of a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea is not as well accepted as in others. People with the following conditions should not use CPAP therapy:

  • Breathing problems.
  • Consciousness is lessened.
  • Cardiac and respiratory instability.
  • Burns or other injuries to the face.
  • Face, esophageal, or gastro-intestinal surgery.
  • The problem of air leaks.
  • The lungs produce a lot of mucus.
  • Vomiting is accompanied by a severe case of nausea.
  • Serious air-blocking illnesses.
  • Anxiety about using a CPAP machine is really high.

For the most part, CPAP devices are effective in treating OSA, but not everyone sticks with them for the long haul. CPAP is only used for an average of 4.6 hours every seven-hour sleep cycle, according to a review of studies completed over the past two decades. In order to be effective, CPAP therapy requires a minimum of five to six hours of nightly use. Only roughly a third of participants who started CPAP therapy continued to use their machine at a level considered acceptable 10 months later, according to one study.

There are a multitude of reasons why someone might decide to quit using their CPAP machine. Obstructive sleep apnea might be misunderstood by some people. Others find it difficult, awkward, or even embarrassing to wear a CPAP mask. Minor side effects, such as a runny nose or nosebleeds, a dry mouth, or skin irritation from the mask, may occur. Others are woken up by the loudness of their CPAP machine.

Patients who are supported and educated about OSA and CPAP use are more likely to adhere to treatment. People with OSA who cannot or do not like to utilize a CPAP machine have various treatment choices at their disposal, including non-invasive nasal or oral devices.
Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure Snoring Devices – Snoring Devices Australia

What Are Differences Between EPAP and CPAP Therapies?

The equipment used in EPAP and CPAP therapy appear and work very differently. This type of gadget uses a motor to push filtered air into the sleeper’s airway, which helps to maintain the airway open throughout the night. A sleeper using a CPAP machine is required to wear a nose or mouth mask. It is essential that the entire system be cleaned and some pieces changed every few months. CPAP machines can be powered by batteries, but the majority are wall-mounted and hence require electricity.

EPAP machines are much smaller and lighter than CPAP machines, and they don’t require batteries or electricity to operate. As an alternative to this, an EPAP device is inserted into or positioned over the nostrils and has a valve that naturally creates pressure as the user exhales. When the person inhales, this pressure helps maintain the airway open. A CPAP machine, on the other hand, uses external air to pressurize the airway; an EPAP device relies solely on the breath of the user.

Is EPAP As Effective As CPAP?

In order to find out if an EPAP device is as beneficial as a CPAP machine in treating obstructive sleep apnea, more research is required. According to some research, both of the OSA treatments are just as beneficial. CPAP machines, on the other hand, may be more effective, according to other research.

In spite of its general superiority, the usage of the CPAP machine is only useful if it is activated. EPAP adherence appears to be on the rise, with some studies suggesting that 92% of people regularly use their EPAP machine. EPAP therapy is preferable than no treatment if CPAP therapy isn’t being adhered to.

Who Is EPAP Better For?

The use of an EPAP device may be preferable to using a CPAP machine for persons who are unable to regularly tolerate the use of the CPAP machine.

If the adverse effects of using a CPAP machine make it necessary to stop using it, an EPAP machine may be of interest. As a result, an EPAP device may be the best option for those who frequently travel. EPAP machines are far more portable than CPAP machines due to their smaller size and reduced weight. When camping or sleeping away from an electrical outlet, an EPAP gadget can be utilized effortlessly. Cleaning and maintaining a CPAP machine is an ongoing process.

Who Is CPAP Better For?

CPAP therapy’s success in treating OSA is well-documented in the scientific literature. As soon as a person is diagnosed with OSA, they are typically prescribed CPAP therapy.

People with OSA who can tolerate a CPAP machine benefit the most from its use. With the CPAP mask in place, a person can fall asleep and stay asleep without experiencing many unwanted side effects. Tolerating the machine well When it comes to treating mouth breathing, full-face CPAP masks may be more efficient than nasal EPAP devices.

A battery-powered CPAP machine is more convenient to travel with than a normal CPAP machine because it is smaller and lighter.
How Do I Decide Which PAP Therapy Is Right for Me?
Your doctor or a sleep specialist can help decide the best course of treatment for your particular case of obstructive sleeping disorders. CPAP machines are typically the first thing doctors recommend to patients with OSA.

Even while CPAP machines are more expensive up front, most insurance plans will pay some or all of the cost. EPAP devices may not be covered by insurance, and disposable EPAP devices may be prohibitively expensive over time.

After trying CPAP, ask your doctor if EPAP therapy is an option if it doesn’t work for you. To receive the rest you need, you and your doctor can devise a treatment plan together.

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