Effective treatment is available for almost all patients. Treatment of both snoring and OSA requires a multidisciplinary approach.
The treatment of snoring is divided into medical and surgical options. The treatment choice is individualised. In the treatment of snoring, a ’staged’ approach is often used, which generally involves medical therapy first, followed by consideration of surgery, if medical therapy is unsuccessful.
For patients with snoring and mild OSA, a conservative approach is usually recommended. These include:
Surgical procedures for the treatment of snoring may include nasal, palatal, jaw, tongue and neck surgery. The surgical procedure recommended will depend on the location of the tissues contributing to the snoring.
Indications for treatment of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness affecting daytime performance, moderate to severe OSA and cardiovascular complications (hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, irregular heart rhythm and stroke).
Treatment of OSA can improve daytime sleepiness, prevent cardiovascular complications, decrease sleep apnoea-related road traffic and workplace accidents, and improve quality of life.
A medical device called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) may be recommended for patients with moderate to severe OSA. This device delivers room air to the nose and back of the throat at a slightly elevated pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing during sleep. CPAP is safe, generally well-tolerated and highly effective. This device must be worn nightly and long-term CPAP compliance is essential for its effectiveness.
Dental appliances that reposition the lower jaw and tongue have been helpful in some patients with mild OSA and snoring. Dental appliances have to be worn every night. Dental and lower jaw joint side effects may prevent compliance.
Surgery may be recommended for treatment of OSA for some individuals. Surgery is individualised and may range from procedures designed to open the nose and enlarge the back of the throat. Medications are ineffective in treating OSA.
Some useful suggestions for snorers:
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your inbox