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Exercises may help sleep apnea

May 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study suggests tongue and throat exercises may offer relief for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or OSA.During sleep, those diagnosed with OSA struggle to breathe because collapsed throat muscles prevent oxygen from reaching their lungs.

In a clinical trial, researchers at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School in Brazil gave patients a set of daily isometric and isotonic exercises typically used in speech therapy.

According to the findings, those participants showed a significant decrease in sleep apnea symptoms, such as excessive snoring, at the end of three months compared to a control group.

Researchers say the set of exercises is a promising alternative treatment for moderate cases of OSA, but other experts in the field say more research needs to be done.

The study was published in the "American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine".

Elements from Yahoo! News/Reuters Health were reported in this story.

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