Breathing Re-Education and Phenotypes of Sleep Apnea: A Review

J Clin Med. 2021 Jan 26;10(3):471. doi: 10.3390/jcm10030471.


Four phenotypes of obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) have been identified. Only one of these is anatomical. As such, anatomically based treatments for OSAHS may not fully resolve the condition. Equally, compliance and uptake of gold-standard treatments is inadequate. This has led to interest in novel therapies that provide the basis for personalized treatment protocols. This review examines each of the four phenotypes of OSAHS and explores how these could be targeted using breathing re-education from three dimensions of functional breathing: biochemical, biomechanical and resonant frequency. Breathing re-education and myofunctional therapy may be helpful for patients across all four phenotypes of OSAHS. More research is urgently needed to investigate the therapeutic benefits of restoring nasal breathing and functional breathing patterns across all three dimensions in order to provide a treatment approach that is tailored to the individual patient.

Keywords: breathing re-education; dysfunctional breathing; myofunctional therapy; obstructive sleep apnea; phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Review