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Sleep apnoea, big tongues and diabetes

Cartoon man sleepingA YouGov survey commissioned by Snoreeze has found that more than 9 out of 10 (93%) of UK women in relationships say that their partner snores. This means there is a massive chance of the person you’re puckering up with this Christmas being a noisy sleeper. As many as 75% of women with snoring partners admitted that the problem has some sort of effect on their life or relationship.  87% said that shaking, nudging and kicking goes on in their bedroom in order to stop the snorer.

However, while heavy snoring is annoying, it can also be a warning sign of sleep apnoea, where the airway relaxes and narrows as they sleep. This means that oxygen cannot be taken in properly, reducing or even stopping airflow to the lungs. If untreated, sleep apnoea is linked to a number of chronic conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression.

A mere 3% of snorers in relationships said that they have visited the doctor about their snoring, despite it being one of the main signs of sleep apnoea, but there may be a hope of home diagnosis as a recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center found that those suffering from sleep apnoea had fatter tongues than non-sufferers. In addition to making the tongue appear larger, increased levels of tongue fat mean that the muscles can no longer position the tongue away from the airway, causing it to be blocked at night.

Snoreeze spokesperson Richard Wiffen comments that, “Mild to moderate sleep apnoea and even simple severe snoring can be treated with an oral device that advances the jaw. The FDA-cleared Snoreeze Oral Device is worn like a gum-shield and can be customised to fit in just a few minutes. Its adjustable design gently positions the jaw forward to clear the obstructed upper airway, meaning that normal breathing continues all night and snoring is stopped.” www.snoreeze.com

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