The major function of a pulse oximeter is to read the concentration of oxygen present in the blood continuously or periodically. One particular area of interest in pulse oximetry is the use of a device called pulse oximeters in monitoring sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which a person pauses in breathing for 10 seconds or more that occur repeatedly during sleep. The problem with such condition is its capacity to cause sleep and oxygen deprivation that may result to certain complications such as heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, depression and rapid weight gain. At present, the main diagnostic tool for sleep apnea is through a polysomnogram or otherwise called a “sleep study”.
Polysomnography is a test performed at a sleep center where the person with suspected sleep apnea will stay overnight. The device uses several electrodes that monitors and records any biophysiologic changes that occur during sleep such as a person’s brain activity, heart rate, breathing, body movements, and a few others. During the test, changes in oxygen saturation are also measured; hence, a pulse oximeter plays an integral part in screening of sleep apnea. Ideally, polysomnography is the only accepted method of diagnosis. However, its lack of general availability and high cost makes it arduous for patients to get diagnosed and be rendered with immediate treatment.
An economical means of detecting sleep apnea is to use a pulse oximeter like the CMS 50F PLUS Bluetooth enabled Wrist Pulse Oximeter. A pulse oximeter is a photoelectric monitoring device that measures the oxygen saturation in a person’s blood by registering pulsations within an articular bed, and detecting the percentage of hemoglobin (Hb) that is saturated with oxygen.
This device takes a form of a portable pulse oximeter that consists of a light emitting diode, a photo detector probe attached to the patient’s finger or ear lobe which is linked to a computerized unit.
The unit displays the percentage of Hb saturated with oxygen together with an audible signal for each pulse beat, a calculated heart rate, and a graphical display of blood flow past the probe.
A pulse oximeter works by using an external probe to bounce red and infrared light off the capillary bed underlying the probe. The source of light originates from the probe at two wavelengths. The light is partly absorbed by Hb, by amounts which differ depending on whether it is saturated or desaturated with oxygen.
By calculating the absorption at the two wavelengths the processor can compute the proportion hemoglobin which is oxygenated. The pulse oximeter is dependent on a pulsatile flow and produces a graph of the quality of flow.
Pulse oximeters may be used in a variety of situations but are of particular value for monitoring oxygenation and pulse rates.
The handheld pulse oximeter makes use of a probe, which is placed in the person’s finger or earlobe, attached to the unit with a cord. It is more appropriate in a clinical setting than in the home.
Finger pulse oximeter, on the other and is very compact. The unit itself is placed on the fingertip and it shines two beams of light through the fingertip to sort out the color of the blood and determine the oxygen saturation level and pulse rate. The portability of the finger pulse oximeters makes them a very popular choice for home use and for medical professionals who are always “on the go”.
The Use of a pulse oximeter to help monitor sleep apnea is a non-intrusive, painless and inexpensive procedure.
From our research, we have been able to conclude that the CMS 50F PLUS Bluetooth enabled Wrist Pulse Oximeter is the best pulse oximeter for effective monitoring of sleep apnea.
Below is a brief review of the CMS 50F PLUS Bluetooth enabled Wrist Pulse Oximeter.
The CMS 50F Bluetooth enabled wrist pulse oximeter comes with a newly designed Innovo SnugFit probe that can measure blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse rate through your fingertip with extreme precision. It also contains a built in auditory and visual alarm that warns you if the oximeter is not place correctly on the finger, the battery is low or when your SpO2 is beyond set limits. This allows the user to fully concentrate on daily activities.
24-Hour Data Recording & Analysis
The CMS 50F has the ability to record and store 24 hours of data, which can be uploaded to a computer for analysis if one wishes. This is extremely helpful to aviators who want to monitor their SpO2 and pulse performance while flying. Superior 256K color OLED screen with rotational display allows you to see the readings clearly and conveniently. The device charges when connected to a computer or to the power supply via the provided power adaptor.
Improved Comfort and Hypoallergenic
The CMS 50F has an increased tensile strength to ensure a tighter fit to the finger without restricting blood flow during prolonged use. The probe is made of silicon instead of latex to ensure a comfortable and hypoallergenic experience for the user.
Features and Specifications
a. Extremely fast, sensitive and accurate
b. Lightweight (About 50g with lithium battery)
c. Built in auditory and visual alarm
d. 256k color OLED display with rotational display
e. Synchronous display on the oximeter and computer
f. Powerful 3.7V Rechargeable Lithium battery and a charger with USB interface
g. Free software to upload and analyze up to 24 hours of data at a time (Windows XP, Windows 7, and Vista Compatible)
h. Automatic power-off after 5 seconds without signal
Some FAQs about sleep apnea
Is nasal surgery necessary?
There are many home remedies and devices, which can be used to treat sleep apnea. However, these are not always effective in eliminating sleep apnea and surgery becomes inevitable. If there is a problem in the septum, or middle structure of the nose, it needs to be straightened out. Small bones on the side of the nasal cavities should be reduced for solving the problem. It can be recommended to relieve snoring.
How is snoring graded depending on it severity?
There are different grades of snoring, which starts from mild to severe cases. It is better to consult the physician when a person experiences milder form of snoring. Immediate medical supervision is required when the person touches the forth level.
Snoring can be heard only when watched very closely.
Snoring can be heard in whole of the bedroom
Snoring can be heard outside the bedroom when the door is opened
Snoring can be heard outside the bedroom even when the door is closed.
Does Snoring lead to sleep apnea?
Snoring is one of the important symptoms of apnea. It does not mean snoring is the cause. People with tonsils, adenoids or polyps can also snore. In some cases, even persons who do not snore exhibit other symptoms of apnea.
Does sleep apnea cause heart burn? Which comes first?
It is a vicious circle. Due to acid refluxes, soft tissues in the throat and the larynx can be damaged. The burning sensation and the damaged throat keeps them awake. But it is still not known whether the acid reflux disorder was present before the sleep apnea or vice versa.
Are there any particular age group who are highly susceptible to apnea?
No, there is no particular age for sleep apnea to occur. From infancy, until old age any person can develop sleep apnea. Researches have found that men are highly susceptible to sleep apnea than women.
What is the difference between hypopnea and Apnea?
Both Hypopnea and apnea are respiratory disorders, which occurs during sleep. Hypopnea is less severe than apnea. The difference between apnea and a hypopnea is that, in apnea, the airflow is fully blocked, while in case of hypopnea, there is a partial airflow from the nose to the lungs. Nevertheless, both does damage the normal sleep pattern, causing low oxygen levels in the body.
Can sleep apnea patient drive?
No, it is highly risky for an apnea patient to drive. While driving mind and body should be at alert and the person driving should possess high reflexes. Due to sleeplessness in the night and daytime sleepiness, there is a chance of mind not to be at alert. Sleep apnea patients sleep without their knowledge at day times. Therefore, it is dangerous to drive.
Before diagnosis of apnea will the person know that they are gasping for breath during sleep?
No. Persons suffering from apnea, wake up often to regularize the breathing pattern by taking in more air. It is always a partial awakening, just enough for the body’s functions to resume to normal. While there is no necessity for the person to become aware of it, it is barely enough to disturb the sleep pattern. That is, the person is always in the state of REM and they never get into deep sleep. The same applies to daytime sleepiness where people are unaware of the fact that they are tired. They sleep without their knowledge at anytime and anywhere.