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The Airing

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Hey all.  I am new here.  I have some field experience repairing electronic devices.  But a couple of things from scratch to make life easier and what not.  So I am not a total newbie.
 But I am scratching my head and wondering if anyone has thoughts on this product.

Airing: the first hoseless, maskless, micro-CPAP

My wife uses a CPAP and i just don't see how you can get the air-flow that a big machine produces in such a tiny package.

And all the pictures show people with closed mouths.

That device is not a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Not even close. It is essentially an "internal" version of the Breathe-Right strips seen here:

Both my dad and my son had to use CPAP at some point. I am in the medical profession as well. This device, while it can probably help some people breathe better it is not CPAP and has no excuse trying to market itself as a replacement. The idea behind CPAP and the reason it works to prevent or reduce sleep apnea is because it "blows open" obstructions, usually caused by a narrow airway coupled with hypertonic musculature and excess tissue in the back of the throat.... The same tissue often causing snoring.

During inspiration, the delivery of positive pressure helps to reduce that fold from closing and "chattering" which is what causes the noise. The snore noise is usually on breathing in. If there is greater pressure, there is larger volume flow and the pressure keeps the flaps open. During expiration, it is usually not a big deal to overcome the positive pressure.

In any case, these professional CPAP machines cost a good amount of money, they are medical devices and have to be approved and must have various fail-safes and also settings that are set by a licensed professional that does a sleep study and checks on the exact type of apnea and the machine is prescribed. In fact, at least in Canada we get government insurance to help subsidize some of the cost through the hospital.

So this IndieGogo campaign may actually be dangerous in the way it is marketed. I hope they have a disclaimer like "Please check first with your doctor if this is right for you".

As far as whether the Airing actually does anything.... I'm sure it does. The Breathe-Right strips stick to your nose and there is a metal strip inside which wants to straighten so it essentially flares your nostrils. I have used them and found them to help improve breathing through the nose because I have narrow openings. If there is an obstruction on part of the nose that is surrounded by harder tissue (bone/cartilage) the tissue won't be as expandable and it won't work. But if you put it on the fleshy soft part of your nose near the nostrils it will flare it and may notice better breathing. Many of the football players and other athletes have been seen using the Breathe-Right strips.

But the Breathe-right doesn't claim to replace CPAP machines and cure sleep apnea, which is a complex multi-factorial disease that may have various causes and needs medical diagnosis and therapy. In some places you can even lose your driver's license if you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and do not follow the advice of the doctor, because it has been found to contribute to accidents. That forces many people (like truck drivers) to not get tested for fear of then losing their license or be forced to undergo testing and use of the CPAP which is tough to get used to.

The fact that they raised close to $500,000 boggles the mind. However, they are at least cheap. They anticipate it selling for $3 each... they want $135 for 90 Airings... or $1.50 each for founders. That is supposed to be a 90-day supply, although I imagine you can wash them or soak them in some kind of solution, or perhaps boil them and you can use the same ones or cycle through a small batch probably for much longer. If they are made of proper rubber they will probably be usable much longer, so it is not a bad price. I may buy a couple for $3 when they come out in stores but there is no way I'm going to buy 90 of them when I know you will probably be able to re-use them for some time. And they will probably help when you have a cold or some congestion and help you sleep a bit better without opening your mouth at night and getting a dry sore throat because of it.

I can see some issues with irritating the inside of your nostrils from chronic use though. If they have any Latex in them it may also cause allergy. The Breathe-right strips can only be used once usually since the adhesive that sticks to your nose loses its stickiness after you remove it. So I see the appeal for the Airing. BY THE WAY - Breathe Right pack of 30 strips costs about $18 at Wal-Mart, or about 60 cents each. For Airing they want $3 a unit and expect you to use a new one every day so you have to buy a 90-day supply for $270 ?(or $135 IndieGogo price)?

BOTTOM LINE:  While it may be helping you breathe a bit better, on occasional use, it should NOT be marketed or in any way shape or form claim any sort of association with treatment of Apnea and CPAP substitution! I see the comments and people think it is a replacement for CPAP... Oh my god wait until they start to have problems and some people lose their life or crash into others and injure other people because of this claim that it is a CPAP-less cure for Apnea.

(PS - close to half million $$$ in 2 days... with 28 days to go... to get 90 of these at a minimum order? have people lost their mind?)

One more thing (excuse my Rant... this stuff ruffles my feathers)....

If you watch their VIDEO on their website:

The founder clearly says they do not have a working prototype, it even says in the video they write "Non-Working Prototype" when they show it. The entire premise is on these "micro-blowers" working. The founder states in the video that he showed it to some engineer and they said it was theoretically possible to generate the airflow with those micro-pumps.... but they have no working prototype to show it works.

As far as I'm concerned, and please prove me wrong Airing guys... the entire thing is a sham to generate a sufficient amount of capital to begin "development" of a prototype. When they realize (or they already know) it is not going to work as intended, they will market it as a replacement for a Breathe-Right strip with an extra little fan-like air blowing inside so you will think it is doing something. But the micro-blowers need to direct air into one direction. The way it is engineered with 2 electrostatically charged plates moving up and down, there is an equal chance of air entering and exiting from either port. There has to be a valve of some kind put in there to allow air to only blow out in one direction. The amount of power required to move that amount of air for that amount of time can be calculated on the back of an envelope. It is mechanical work. A good fluid or air dynamics or HVAC engineer should be able to figure this out and see what kind of energy is needed to produce "x" pressure on a surface the size of 2 nostrils for 8 hours.

Thanks for confirming what I was thinking.  A few people have suggested this thing to my wife, that's how I heard about it in the first place.  And I was thinking there is no way it could replace her machine. 

It's hard to believe that is has raised  over $500,000 and still has almost a month left on it.


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