The quality of tissues in the respiratory system plays a significant role in the breathing pattern and contributes to issues like snoring and the OSAS (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome). Simple oropharyngeal exercises for obstructive sleep apnea can help you overcome OSAS and other connected problems.
Many studies indicate that the time tested oropharyngeal exercises originated from speech therapy are an effective first line of treatment option if you suffer from moderate OSAS and snoring.
As per the conclusion of many such experiments, eight to ten minutes of the oropharyngeal exercises done three to five times a day can reduce snoring significantly. Within a short period of 3 months of this study, the total snore index showed a significant drop of more than 50% in almost all the members of the exercise group.
Some Simple Oropharyngeal Exercises for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
These exercises target all the muscle groups involved in the process of respiration. They make these muscles and connected tissue stronger. Further, besides helping you overcome OSAS, these exercises are also tailor-made to improve your quality of speech too.
Stand in front of a mirror and pronounce the vowels loudly. This provides the muscles isotonic exercise when done intermittently. Moreover, doing it continuously gives them isometric exercise. You can try a combination of both.
They help you strengthen the tensor as well as levator veli-palatini muscles, uvula, and palatopharyngeus. They also result in raising the pharyngeus lateral wall. Repeat them daily for 3 minimum minutes.
Do the following exercises 3 to 5 times a day for a minimum of 3 minutes each-
- Brush the entire surface of the tongue three times a day.
- Try to slide the tongue backward while its tip is at the front part of the palate. This will strengthen the tongue.
- Force the tongue upward in a sucking action towards the palate. While doing this, the entire tongue is kept pressed against the palate.
- Force the rear part of the tongue upon the base of the mouth. At the same time keep the tip touched to the inferior incisive teeth.
Facial stretches promote elasticity and strength of the muscles in the nasal passageway, tongue as well as the throat.
- Apply pressure on Orbicularis Oris muscles (around the lips that encircle the mouth) with mouth closed. This results in the strengthening of the inner lining tissues. Hold this position for around 30 seconds.
- Contract the buccinator muscle at the anterior portion of your cheek in a suction type of movement.
- Use a finger and apply outward pressure against the buccinator muscle to strengthen it.
- Alternated lifting of the platysma muscle massages the larynx and strengthens the inner tissue. This prevents obstruction during sleep.
Breathing and Speech Exercises
Try out Forced nasal breathing while sitting. During this process, combine exhalation with phonation of vowels.
Inflate a balloon by prolonged nasal inhalation followed up with forced blowing. Repeat this repeated five to six times while the balloon is still held on the mouth.