Sunday, November 18, 2012

Electronic nose and sleep apnea

There are a lot of signs that you may have sleep apnea. One of the best is having your partner tell you that your snoring is deafeningly loud and that you sound like you are gasping for air throughout the night. Another way to tell is a lack of energy during the day as well as a problem with certain mental capacities like memory.  If you seek a doctor’s opinion at that point then he will set up a sleep study where you will find out one way or the other if you indeed have sleep apnea.  A recent study with a new device may also indicate whether you have sleep apnea or not, it’s called an electronic nose.

According to  Electronic nose devices have been shown to distinguish between a number of diseases; they do this by analyzing the pattern of volatile organic compounds in breath samples. This is the first study that has assessed whether the electronic nose could be used to confirm the presence of sleep apnea.”

The test was done with 60 people, 40 of which had sleep apnea and 20 did not.  The accuracy rate of detecting the sleep apnea patients was about 93 percent, which is pretty good. 

The importance of this device is that it may be able to replace the sleep study which isn’t a particularly pleasant test.

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