Wellington, Aug 15. A researcher in New Zealand has developed a device that can bring relief to people who snore and suffer from sleep apnoea, where breathing stops during sleep.
Sleep apnoea is related to a range of problems from high blood pressure and diabetes to depression, not to mention the strife and misery caused by snoring partners.
Orthodontist Dr Chris Robertson, a dental sleep medicine specialist, has developed the device named as 'aveoTSD' after eight years of research that make snorers sleep like babies, reports New Zealand's leading news website Stuff.
Robertson's father died of cardiac problems associated with sleep apnoea in 1983, inspiring him to work on remedies to the problem.
Manufactured in Christchurch, users say the device is like using a dummy that makes them sleep like a baby.
The beauty of Robertson's invention is it costs a fraction of expensive sleep masks and can be prescribed by a doctor without the need to visit a specialist or dentist for fitting.
Robertson said using the device was similar to buying a new pair of shoes and getting used to them. It has Federal Drug Administration approval in the US and is about to become widely available in New Zealand on prescription through GPs.
He said the device had a 90 percent success rate in clinical trials and was also being tried with patients undergoing general anaesthetics and in emergency departments for patients having trouble breathing.
According to research, there are over 200 million people in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries with sleep disordered breathing.
In New Zealand, an estimated one million people suffer from sleep disordered breathing problems. About 800,000 are bad snorers, and about 200,000 have undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea.
The device has been used in clinical trials in Dunedin and Wellington and trials are also under way in the US, Brazil and Canada.
Anthony Russell, a 49-year-old Central Otago businessman who started using one of the first versions of the device about five years ago, said it changed his life.