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Treatment for Sleep Apnoea and Snoring

Once diagnosed, several types of sleep apnoea aids and treatments can offer patients a clear and open airway during sleep. For some people, developing good sleeping habits, losing weight, and avoiding sleep medications and alcohol prior to sleep may cure their sleep apnoea syndrome.

Diagnosis and Treatments

What can be done about it?

  • The most important thing is correct diagnosis both of the cause and the severity.
  • Ensure that alternative causes are ruled out.
  • Find the severity by noting the effects, particularly on sleep quality for both the patient and the partner.
  • Take x-rays of the airway and measure it.
  • Pharyngometry to measure the airway with the jaw in different positions
  • Where applicable use a plastic device to bring the jaw down and forward and thereby open the airway.

What methods can be used?

  • Opening the airway can be achieved by a number of methods..  There is no single method that will apply to everybody.
  • Often you will see an advert that states this will ‘cure’ your snoring.  While many will help, most will help only a few.  Sometimes you will have to use two or three methods such as medication, a change of sleeping position, a mouth-device and weight loss. It is important to note that for about 1 person in 6, an oral mouth device will actually close the airway further which is dangerous.

Let’s look at the various methods.

Measuring your airway

The only way to ensure that your airway is bigger is to measure it. Using sound waves, we use non-invasive methods of  actually measuring the nose and the mouth/throat. Most ANTI-SNORING devices are standard in size and application. This will work at best on some people. The sad fact is this might stop the noise, but often it means your aiway is smaller!! This is not healthy. 

Eco-vision will allow us to measure your airways, and place the appropriate orthotic to put your jaw in the right place and to allow it to stay there all night. The orthotics used at TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres are usually simpler in design and most a one part, not two linked together with a metal clip, a sock that you plug your tongue into or a large plastic device that clamps both jaw together.


This is a device used to blow air into your nose when breathing is difficult. While it may not be ideal, this may be the best way to stay alive. Many people owe their lives to CPAP.

For those who can't tolerate it we can, after measuring your airway either reduce the pressure needed to open your airway and that may allow you to tolerate the mask over your nose.  Better still, many who may have even tried 'splints' or anti-snoring devices but not measured, and given up on these,  as well as those with mild to moderate problems, may be able to use an ORAL ORTHOTIC specially designed to maintain the airway. These are patients who can completely avoid using CPAP. 

Mouth devices

These are plastic designed to hold the jaw in a position determined by measuring. This can unblock the airway.  These are worn at night and are completely removable


Most effective are nose sprays that reduce swelling inside the nose allowing better nose breathing. (Nose breathing is much better for you than mouth breathing). Pain and anxiety too must be addressed


By cutting away various parts of the throat, tongue or roof of the mouth, it is possible to increase the airway. However, more than half of these painful surgeries don’t work. I feel that with a 95% success rate of the correctly chosen mouth device, surgery is a last resort and should be avoided as most of the parts removed grow back.