Earlier this year, we introduced the Reza Band®, a new wearable medical device designed to reduce LPR symptoms, or silent reflux. When we had the opportunity to interview one of the first patients to test the device, we jumped at the chance to learn about it from the perspective of a satisfied patient.
We recently interviewed Michael A. Rosenberg Esq., a user of the Reza Band®, on how the Reza Band® has worked for him. Mr. Rosenberg lives and works as an attorney in Midtown Manhattan. He is 72 years old, married with one son and two grandchildren. This is what he shared with us about his experience.
When did you first start getting LPR symptoms? And what kind of symptoms were you getting?
I don’t remember exactly when the LPR symptoms started. They came on gradually with hoarseness and a throat irritating kind of cough. I eventually lost my voice completely, which lasted for weeks. I was always coughing and had a sore throat with laryngitis-type symptoms.
How was it disrupting your life?
Well, I’m an attorney, so I use my voice a lot – in court, in depositions, and on the phone, among other things – my symptoms were disrupting my work.
What steps did you take to get relief from your symptoms?
I first went to my internist, who then referred me to an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist), Dr. Stacy Silvers. Dr. Silvers put one of those scopes down into my throat (endoscopy), and afterwards said, “there’s no question that you have acid reflux,” and that’s when she said “silent acid reflux.”
I was very confused about this diagnosis because when I think of acid reflux I think of things like heartburn, regurgitation, and taking TUMS, none of which I had.
I would like to add and say, Dr. Stacy Silvers is a fabulous physician. She’s thorough and really pays attention; she knew right away what it was.
After you were diagnosed with silent reflux what did Dr. Silvers prescribe?
Well, I went on medication. I was first prescribed Zantac and Omeprazole (PPI), but it disrupted my stomach. So Stacy prescribed Dexilant (PPI), and that worked better.
Did the medication work?
First, I must say, I’m not a big proponent of pill taking. I may be 72, but I’m a very active 72. I’m a runner, I hold a black belt in karate, I fence, and keep a good diet. So pill taking is not something I really like to do. However, that said, the pills did their job. They gave me my voice back and I stopped coughing and the laryngitis disappeared. Though they did work, I was not happy taking pills.
How were you introduced to the Reza Band?
Dr. Silvers’ office called one day and said they were doing a trial and asked if I would like to try a new, non-invasive device that might help relieve my LPR symptoms without medication. I said, “Absolutely!” Why not? Especially if it could help me avoid taking pills?
How was your first experience with the Reza Band?
Simply put, it was a piece of cake. It was so easy-to-use, there was nothing to it. Once the doctor adjusted the band for whatever pressure tightness was needed, I just put it on at night and went to sleep. There’s no discomfort. I don’t find it difficult. It didn’t interfere with my sleep – nothing, just put it on and that’s it.
Was it effective?
I had great success with it! I wasn’t bothered at all by any of the symptoms that I had experienced before — it worked.
Learn more: LPR: When your GERD symptoms aren’t typical
Did you stay on your medication after the Reza Band trial?
No. I got off the medication completely.
Can you describe the feeling you have while you’re wearing it? Can you feel it while you sleep?
Well, yes, you are aware that you have something around your neck and sitting in the well of your throat, but I don’t find it uncomfortable at all. The band is probably an inch wide all the way around and it is lightweight. You put it on at night and go to sleep and wake up the next morning and take it off. Simple as that. I fall asleep just fine with it and it doesn’t interfere with my sleep.
I compare it to having tendinitis. You put a band on your tennis arm — that’s what it’s like. I’m a big fan of it. I think it has worked for me. I think it is worthwhile for anyone with acid reflux to try it.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
After the trial, I asked Dr. Silvers’ office if I could keep the Reza Band®, and they said “no” because they had to account for the bands and the device still required FDA approval. Now that it has been approved by the FDA, I now wear it every night.
The way I see it is — it can’t hurt. It’s not like taking a pill, and as I said before, I prefer to never to take the pill. If something as simple as this device is beneficial, then why not? I hope that this kind of device would be covered by insurance and that people will be encouraged to use this device!
How do I obtain a Reza Band?
The Reza Band is a new device on the market. The device received FDA approval in March 2015 and some patients are learning about the Reza Band before their doctors. Although the list of doctors who prescribe and fit the Reza Band is growing rapidly (see physician locator to find a doctor near you) some patients simply have to introduce the device to their doctor.
Somna Therapeutics has developed a discussion guide to help patients talk to their physicians about the Reza Band (see Discussion Guide.) Also on their website is information for the physician – on how to properly fit the Reza Band (see For Physicians).
For anyone with LPR symptoms, there is no reason why you can’t obtain a Reza Band if your doctor agrees that it can benefit you. All you have to do is speak with your doctor about this new innovative device and refer her/him to the RezaBand.com website for more information.
Thank you, Mr. Rosenberg, for taking the time to share your story! To learn more about the Reza Band®, visit http://www.rezaband.com/patients.