May 10, 2009

Mouth Exercises Significantly Reduce OSAS

Tongue and throat exercises have been found to reduce neck circumference and improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, according to an article in the May 15 2009 Am J Respir Crit Care Med entitled "Effects of oropharyngeal exercises on patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome."

BMI and ABD circumference did not change significantly, but neck circumference did in the tongue exercise group (n=16, 39.6 +/- 3.6cm) vs the null group (n=15, 38.5 +/- 4.0 cm) with a p value <0.05. Sleep apnea measures like snoring frequency/intensity, daytime sleepiness/sleep quality score and apnea-hyponea index were also decreased.

This is an exciting alternative to CPAP, which many patients dislike because they have to wear a mask that blasts air down their throats to sleep. If they are willing to be compliant with exercises that strengthen their throat muscles and reduce their neck size, then I would certainly refer them to the following video below for some example exercises:

Exercises include: brushing the tongue with a toothbrush, putting the tip of the tongue on the soft palate and sliding the tongue backward, pronouncing vowels quickly or continuously, and keeping the tongue in a certain position when eating.

Download the Video of Oropharyngeal exercises

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 May 15;179(10):962-6. Epub 2009 Feb 20.
WebMD: Tongue Exercises May Ease Sleep Apnea

hat tip to Clinical Cases and Images

Author's Note:
I am not trying to infringe on copyright by posting the video to my blog... I am just trying to eliminate one extra step for the viewing of something that I find very interesting and want to share with others. If it proves to be a legal problem in spite of the fact that I posted the public links to the article as well as the link to download the video for personal use, then I will remove the video from my site

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating! I have suffered from OSA for about 6 years, and have benefited from CPAP. I would prefer not to have to sleep with a mask, and so I will try these techniques out. Thank you very much for posting this informative video.

    Peter Huffam
    Winnipeg, Canada