Snoring and Sleep Apnoea – Treatment is Key

beerSnoring is as a result of obstructed flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. Research has shown that 45-50% of normal adults snore. Snoring is both a problem for the snorer and the people who sleep near you. Snoring leads to interrupted sleep which negatively affects the quality of life.

Chronic snoring places an individual at a very high risk of getting sleep apnoea, a serious sleep disorder that restricts breathing during sleep.  The episodes of interrupted breathing prevent the brain from receiving sufficient oxygen.  Sleep apnoea when left untreated will lead to hypertension, cardiac arrest and stroke. 

Snoring can be caused by any of these factors:

  1. Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat
  2. Alcohol and sedatives
  3. Bulky throat tissue
  4. Long soft palate and  uvula
  5. Obstructed nasal airways

Snoring should be treated at the earliest possible opportunity. A visit to the doctor is absolutely necessary to get a proper diagnosis and eliminate the possibility of suffering from sleep apnoea. Treatment is then prescribed to eliminate snoring and to get quality sleep.

Snoring can be eliminated through lifestyle changes. These changes are not difficult to make. The changes include: exercising to develop good muscle tone and lose weight, sleep on the side as opposed to sleeping on the back, having a regular sleep pattern, avoiding alcohol consumption just before bedtime, avoiding sleeping pills, antihistamines, and tranquilizers and avoid heavy meals 3 hours before bed.

The effective treatments for snoring include oral appliances which help pull forward the lower jaw to open the airways and the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) which is a facial mask and air pump which blow air through the mouth to keep the airway open. The two treatment methods require compliance so that snoring is treated effectively. The CPAP machine for example should be worn for about 5 to 6 hours for five nights in a week.

Other treatment options are surgical procedures such as radiofrequency ablation which is carried out using controlled low-power radiofrequency energy that helps to create lesions in the back of the throat.  When the lesions are left to heal over a period of 6-8 weeks, they are naturally resorbed, reducing tissue volume and stiffening remaining tissue. 

Another procedure is the pillar procedure that involves placing three tiny inserts in the soft palate to help reduce the vibration that causes snoring by preventing airway obstruction.  The inserts are meant to add structural support. The procedure is less invasive and less painful.

Therefore, people who snore should be evaluated and should commence treatment as early as possible.

Image Courtesy of antpkr /

Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.