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, June 30, 2011

Get Tested for Sleep Apnea When Awake

New Research suggests that you may not have to get a sleep test to determine whether you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Instead, an analysis of your waking breathing may be able to determine your risk, and whether you are likely to suffer from mild, moderate, or severe sleep apnea.

The preliminary research was reported at the 2011 SLEEP conference, but suggests that several audible features of daytime breathing were significantly different between OSA and non-OSA subjects. Using just two of the most significant sound features, researchers stated they were able to predict the presence or absence of OSA with an 84% accuracy.

Researchers explained that the reason these breathing features were so significant was that OSA sufferers tend to have a narrower and more collapsible pharynx with more negative pharyngeal pressure. This gives greater resistance when a person breathes through his or her nose, creating distinctive sound features.

Subjects were asked to breathe through their nose normally for five breaths, then breathe through their nose at maximum volume for five breaths. They repeated the normal and maximum breathing through their mouth with a nose clip in place. This was done in upright and supine positions. Sounds were recorded using a microphone attached to the patients' neck, then analyzed using digital techniques. Finally, subjects were given a full night polysomnogram to determine whether they actually suffered from obstructive sleep apnea and their degree of apnea.

If this actually does prove to be a successful test for obstructive sleep apnea, it can save millions of dollars, not to mention the inconvenience associated with polysomnography.

However, if you suspect you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, it is crucial that you not wait for new testing methods, but instead get tested and begin treatment today to protect your health and your life from this potentially deadly condition. To learn more, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 11:31 AM