Myofunctional therapy (oropharyngeal exercises) for obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a syndrome characterised by episodes of apnoea (complete cessation of breathing) or hypopnoea (insufficient breathing) during sleep. Classical symptoms of the disease – such as snoring, unsatisfactory rest and daytime sleepiness – are experienced mainly by men; women report more unspecific symptoms such as low energy or fatigue, tiredness, initial insomnia and morning headaches. OSA is associated with an increased risk of occupational injuries, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, mortality, and being involved in traffic accidents. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – delivered by a machine which uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure- is considered the first treatment option for most people with OSA. However, adherence to treatment is often suboptimal. Myofunctional therapy could be an alternative for many patients. Myofunctional therapy consists of combinations of oropharyngeal exercises – i.e. mouth and throat exercises. These combinations typically include both isotonic and isometric exercises involving several muscles and areas of the mouth, pharynx and upper respiratory tract, to work on functions such as speaking, breathing, blowing, sucking, chewing and swallowing.

Μετ. Η μυολειτουργική θεραπεία αποτελείται από συνδυασμούς στοματοφαρυγγικών ασκήσεων – δηλαδή ασκήσεις στόματος και λαιμού. Αυτοί οι συνδυασμοί συνήθως περιλαμβάνουν ισοτονικές και ισομετρικές ασκήσεις που περιλαμβάνουν αρκετούς μύες και περιοχές του στόματος, του φάρυγγα και της ανώτερης αναπνευστικής οδού, για να εργαστούν σε λειτουργίες όπως η ομιλία, η αναπνοή, το φύσημα, το πιπίλισμα, η μάσηση και η κατάποση.