Sleep apnea is the pauses of breathing during sleep and it is usually transient. 

It can be diagnosed by Overnight sleep study in which doctors monitoring changes in different organ's oxygen level, heartbeat, the loudness of snoring and pauses of breathing during sleep. Other tests are Multiple sleep latency test measuring how quickly you fall asleep in a quiet environment during the day, Maintenance of wakefulness test measures how alert you are during the day.

RISK FACTORS: 

Overweight, Enlarged tonsils, Family history, Allergies, Age over 40, Sinus problems, Small jaw bone, Fat around the neck area, being male.

Smoking, Alcohol, Sleeping pills, Sedatives — Promote sleep apnea as they can relax throat muscles which may lead to a collapse of the airway at night.

COMPLICATIONS: 

Type 2 diabetes, Heart problems, Liver disease, stroke, Hypertension.

TREATMENT:

OROPHARYNGEAL EXERCISES:

1. Open your mouth as wide as possible, move your tongue down past your teeth as far as you can (as if you’re trying to lick your chin) which will lift the uvula. Do for 3-5 seconds at a time and repeat 5 times.

2. Singing is a great way to strengthen the muscles in your soft palate and upper throat so sing a song every day. 

3. Push the tip of the tongue against the roof of your mouth and slide the tongue backward. Repeat 10 times.

4. Stretch for your soft palate - Open your mouth as wide as you can while saying “ah” in the back of the throat. Continue for 10 seconds. Close your mouth, wait 2-3 seconds, then repeat 10 times.

5. Soft Palate Blowing - close your mouth and inhale gently through your nose, then press your lips together and exhale by blowing the air out from your mouth. Try to blow out air for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times, 5 times daily.

6. With your tongue in the resting position and your mouth closed, arch your tongue against the your mouth's roof and slide the tip of your tongue back as far as it will go along the mouth's roof. Keeping your tongue in this position, slowly open your mouth until your tongue can no longer rest on the mouth's roof. Repeat for 3 minutes, three times daily.

Oropharyngeal Exercises in Sleep Apnea has been proven to be very hopeful for people with Sleep Apnea. 

Pranayama- Bhastrika, kapalbhati, ujjayi, anulom vilom

Weight loss

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) THERAPY - CPAP machine uses a mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady positive air pressure to your throat to ensure that your airway stays open during sleep. Very effective for treating the spontaneous pauses in breath associated with sleep apnea.

Lifestyle modification: 

  • Sleep on your side or abdomen instead of your back. 
  • Avoid fatty diet, alcohol, sleeping pills & sedatives.
  • Regular exercise - try to get 30 minutes brisk walking at least 6 days/week.

Surgery: Surgery to stimulate a hypoglossal nerve, Jaw repositioning, implants, surgery to remove enlarged tonsil, Tissue removal (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).