A person lying on a bed using a CPAP mask

A Revolutionary New Treatment for Sleep Apnea – Significant Reduction in Symptoms for Participants

2024 , Sleep apnea , Study

The Finnish WellO2 breathing trainer, which enhances throat muscle strength and humidifies airways, has shown promising results in significantly reducing symptoms of sleep apnea. The device works by strengthening the muscles in the upper airways, helping to keep them open and possibly influencing the body's breathing regulation mechanisms. This finding is groundbreaking, suggesting that obstructive sleep apnea can be improved with the WellO2 device. Until now, there has been no curative device or medication for sleep apnea.

In a study conducted by the University of Turku, Finland, participants with obstructive sleep apnea used the WellO2 device at home for three months. The results showed increased respiratory muscle strength, reduced nighttime breathing interruptions, improved sleep quality, and decreased insomnia. Participants also reported reduced psychological stress, as measured by the QHQ-12 quality of life survey. Interestingly, their Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF), which is often monitored in various lung diseases, also improved.


Originally, 60 individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea were recruited for the study and sent to the Turku University Hospital for CPAP therapy evaluation. An interim report of the study, involving 25 participants, was recently presented at the Nordic Lung Congress 2024 in Helsinki on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Participants practiced with the WellO2 device twice daily for three months, each session consisting of 30 inhalations and exhalations. The device's breathing resistance was set at 30% of their maximum strength. Comprehensive sleep studies (PSG) were conducted at the University of Turku's Sleep Research Center before and after the training period.

Participants also reported a reduction in snoring due to WellO2 training. Researcher Usame Al-Rammahi noted,

"The reduction in snoring was an interesting finding. Many participants reported decreased snoring, suggesting that increased throat muscle strength and warm steam have an impact on snoring."

A previous study on asthma patients showed a statistically significant reduction in snoring after one month of WellO2 training.¹

Sleep apnea is a rapidly increasing condition, affecting approximately one billion people worldwide.² Symptoms are currently managed with CPAP devices, dental appliances, positional therapy, or lifestyle changes. CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, but about a third of patients struggle to adapt to it.

This new study suggests that sleep apnea can be improved with the WellO2 device, which enhances throat muscle strength and humidifies the airways. Additionally, regular use of the device may benefit those with other sleep problems or reduced peak expiratory flow.


What is Sleep Apnea?

  • A sleep disorder causing repeated pauses in breathing during sleep.
  • Affects over 900 million people globally.³ ⁴
  • Common symptoms are loud snoring, gasping for air, daytime sleepiness.
  • Can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and death if left untreated.


Katri Lindberg
Respiratory Specialist, Master of Healthcare, WellO2

Tuomas Mattelmäki
CEO, WellO2

Questions related to the research:

Usame Al-Rammahi
Doctoral Researcher, Pulmonary Diseases and Clinical Allergology (Department of Clinical Medicine)
University of Turku


¹Kuronen, Heinijoki, Sovijärvi (2023) Effects of low workload respiratory training with steam inhalation on lung function in stable asthma: A controlled clinical study (Journal of Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cpf.12856

²The Lancet - Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(19)30198-5/abstract

³Benjafield et al. Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis. Lancet Respiratory Medicine http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30198-5.

Resmed: Sleep apnea - Causes, symptoms and treatment

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