A so-called “electronic nose” that can detect and analyze molecules in breath has shown promise in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially deadly sleep disorder suffered by tens of millions of Americans.
Currently, OSA is most often diagnosed through an overnight sleep test, which can be costly and, for many, intrusive and technically intensive. But according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 25 edition of the European Respiratory Journal, an electronic nose demonstrated it may be able to confirm OSA by detecting upper-airway inflammation, which is common among those with obstructive sleep apnea.
Electronic noses are already used to distinguish between some chronic diseases. The devices work by analyzing the nature of organic matter present in breath. In a test of 40 patients, researchers found the electronic nose effectively diagnosed OSA with about 93 percent accuracy.
In addition to being a useful diagnostic tool for sleep apnea, researchers found the device was also useful for ruling out OSA in some patients. The findings of the electronic nose could also be used by doctors to decide whether a patient should undergo more thorough evaluation for sleep apnea or other conditions.
If you or a loved one snores nightly or experiences other symptoms of sleep apnea, a dentist with experience in the field of dental sleep medicine can help you determine if you have sleep apnea as well as recommend a customized treatment option for you.
Please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.