Sleep apnea (obstructive) is a sleep disorder that is diagnosed when stop of breathing of more than 10 seconds is repeated more than 5 times within 1 hour during sleep.
The major causes of sleep apnea are said to be aging, overweight and so on.
Leaving sleep apnea as it is, the symptoms such as strong sleepiness during daytime or tiredness due to lack of sleep occur and there is a high risk that the various complications like heart failure, high blood pressure or diabetes are caused.
But it is difficult to check whether your breathing stops or not during sleep.
Actually, if you look at the inside of your mouth, you can check whether you have sleep apnea or not.
How to check whether you have sleep apnea or not
(1) Prepare a hand mirror and look upward at an angle of 45 degrees.
(2) Look at the inside of the mouth with putting your small finger at the corner of the mouth, saying “Ah” (Fig. 1 & 2).
Normal: The gap between the uvula and the tongue is wider than the width of the small finger. (Fig. 3 & 4)
Sleep apnea: The gap between the uvula and the tongue is narrower than the width of the small finger, or the uvula can’t be seen (Fig. 3 & 5).