Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aussies Develop New Way to Detect Sleep Apnea

Australian scientists have developed a new method for detecting sleep apnea. Traditionally, the diagnosis of sleep apnea required an overnight stay at a hospital coupled with invasive machines that monitor the patient's sleep. This new method that has been developed is non-invasive and can diagnose sleep apnea with 90% accuracy.

This new method actually records and analyzes the sonic characteristics of the patient's snoring. Snoring is one of the common symptoms of sleep apnea. While snoring is prevalent in sleep apnea sufferers, the presence of snoring doesn't necessarily mean that the patient has sleep apnea. That's where this new, non-invasive procedure comes in. This new procedure records your snores and monitors the change in frequency, pitch and various other characteristics of snores to diagnose sleep apnea. This sort of information provides doctors with important information about how the airways in your body are being obstructed. This can lead to a more proper diagnosis of your sleep apnea, if you have it at all.

Eventually, the goal for this technology is to provide home screening kits to people who think they are suffering from sleep apnea. This will prevent the long lines that have developed for sleep apnea tests at hospitals and other screening centers. While this technology can detect sleep apnea with 90% accuracy, this method is still seen as a supplemental test to be performed prior to an actual sleep apnea screening at a hospital or screening center. The scientists involved with this device hope that home screening kits will be available to the general public in the next three to five years.

If you or your partner snore or stops breathing during the night, please contact Gurnee, Illinois sleep dentist, Dr. Ira Shapira.

posted by Lynn at 8:15 AM