For 30 million Americans who snore, choke, gasp or stop breathing during the night, the tongue could be a key reason.
A new study published in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine on Friday found a connection between sleep apnea and having a fat tongue.
Researchers studied 67 obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea and measured how a 10% weight loss would impact their upper airways.
They found patients who reduced their tongue size by losing overall body fat improved sleep apnea scores by more than 30%.
The author of the study says we use the tongue to talk, breathe and eat, but they still don't understand why it should have any fat at all.
A fat tongue could be cause for obstructive sleep apnea, study says
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