04 Apr 2018

Progress in Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Technology is revolutionising the way treatments are carried out. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea were diagnosed pretty late, yet today we have a range of technological systems to unwind the sleep matrix. 

Sleep apnea treatments reduce medical expenses, significantly improve quality of life and lower serious, associated health risks. The goal of sleep apnea treatments is to maintain an open airway and increase blood oxygen levels during sleep, which not only relieves symptoms such as snoring, but can be an effective way to help control related conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, depression, weight gain and erectile or sexual dysfunction. 

Decoding the sleep matrix

Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.

Innovations in last five years, in terms of therapy have seen the growth of sleep lab machines. Sleep labs are more functional and they are seen as a better treatment modality. New methods of adoptive technology constitute of sleep sensors with pressure control, and the pressure varies when the patient is sleeping.

All the senses are connected to the machine and the readings are recorded and downloaded to interpret the sleep and brain functioning.

Basically sleep labs comprise of a comprehensive group of equipments brought together to diagnose disorder. A recording device, inbuilt with software, is able to sense variations and body positions and is able to generate lot of information. Diagnosis of sleep disorders is based on a combination of history and physical examination, monitoring of the sleep/wake pattern, and physiologic testing.

The most common sleep study is overnight Polysomnography (PSG), the monitoring of multiple physiologic parameters during sleep. Improvements in portable monitoring technology have made home sleep testing more feasible.

While this may reduce the cost per study and improve some patients’ tolerance of sleep testing, there is also the potential for more widespread testing and  increased overall cost. The search continues for more effective and better-tolerated therapies. But that is the case with all verticals of  healthcare.

Covered at http://ehealth.eletsonline.com/2012/07/sleep-diagnostic/

Dr Animesh Arya, Senior Chest Physician, Specialist in Allergy, Sleep and Critical Care, Centre for Sleep, New Delhi

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