Best Pulse Oximeter for Monitoring Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea leads to low energy levels, and this influences your pulse rate and blood oxygen levels. Oximeters have been successfully used to diagnose up to 30% more patients, compared to using traditional means alone.

The best pulse oximeter for sleep apnea can determine the levels of oxygen in your blood and then give the result in percentage form. This is referred to as your SpO2 (also known as oxygen saturation level). Normal oxygen levels are usually between 95% and 100%.

Any levels from 92% and lower are dangerous as this can cause Hypoxia – when your vital organs are not receiving the right amount of oxygen. The best pulse oximeter for home use can also detect your pulse (heart) rate.

The Best Pulse Oximeters - Top Choices


#1. Fingertip Pulse Oximeter by Concord

Overview

  • 2-Way Rotating display for user
  • Shock resistant protective cover
  • Quick, accurate and easy to use
  • Over 30 hours of continuous battery use

This is first in our list of the best pulse oximeters for sleep apnea.

Finding a suitable pulse oximeter that is safely recommended for children (seven and older) can be tough. Most oximeters don't announce whether or not they are safe for children to use. But this oximeter is precisely that - child safe.

This neat little device does all the standard measurements expected from a suitable monitor - measuring heart rate and your blood oxygen levels with the ease of just pressing a few buttons. Accidents happen, and to everyone. 

The manufacturers behind the Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor kept that in mind when they made it, and now you can find it with a shock resistant cover for safety. The battery is reliable and strong and will last at the very least for 30 hours with continuous use. When you're not using it, the device will shut down to save the battery life even more. If the battery is getting low, the built-in battery indicator will let you know in advance.

What we love about this product:

  • The Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor is made with care, and there is a technical support line that can be called if you need assistance.
  • A built-in alarm that will alert you when your blood oxygen levels have dropped below what it should be (you set the baseline).
  • There is also an alarm feature that will let you know if your pulse rate has fallen below or exceeded the levels you have set.
  • The Fingertip Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor has a two-way rotating display that makes it convenient.

#2. Pulse Oximeter by FaceLake 

Overview

  • Large digital red LED display
  • Determine your SPO2 and Pulse Rate in 10 seconds or less
  • Quick, accurate and easy to use
  • For sports enthusiasts like mountain climbers

If you're looking for an oximeter that will give you your readings in a clear display, this device will work for you. It has a large display screen, and you won't need to lean in closer to see on it. The speed of the Pulse Oximeter by FaceLake is impressive. You can expect to see your results in a matter of ten seconds, maybe even less. The battery life is superb, and you are bound to be pleased with its longevity. A handy neck and/or wrist cord is included in the package, as well as a carrying case.

What we love about this product:

  • It comes with a complete one-year warranty for peace of mind. Broken screens and any technical defects are covered by this warranty.
  • Do you get a free Nylon carrying case and who doesn't like a freebie?

#3. Air Pulse Oximeter Provided By iHealth 

Overview

  • Wireless and lightweight
  • Great for spot checking your oxygen and pulse rate
  • Clinically tested, HIPAA compliant
  • One-touch automatic sync via Bluetooth Smart
  • Measures oxygen level, pulse rate and perfusion index
  • 1 year manufacturer's warranty

For all the tech-savvy people out there this oximeter will be most enjoyable. It keeps track of all your blood level and heart rate data, which can be shared with your doctor for analysis. You can also measure your perfusion index with this multi-talented oximeter.

The Air Pulse Oximeter for sleep apnea even has its very own app that can be used on smartphones. This device works uniquely - it will calculate your average measurements after you've used it for about half an hour instead of giving separate results every time.

What we love about this product:

  • This is a beautiful device, and although looks don't really matter, it doesn't hurt either. The Air Pulse Oximeter is portable and reliable too.
  • It has been clinically tested and is FDA approved.
  • With this device, you won't need to replace any batteries. It can be charged with a USB cable, and it won't take ages. It also shuts off after 8 seconds of inactivity to save on battery life.

#4. Finger Pulse Oximeter by Vive 

Overview

  • Approved for use by the FDA
  • Individually tested for accuracy
  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Two-year guarantee
  • Easily detects and alerts you of irregular heartbeats and low oxygen saturation levels.

If Vive aimed for a user-friendly oximeter when they made the Finger Pulse Oximeter, they succeeded. You won't have a hard time understanding or using this device. As soon as instantly, the results of your measurements will be seen on the screen. You'll be notified if your heart rate is irregular or if your blood oxygen levels are low with a handy alarm setting.

The Finger Pulse Oximeter is a light and portable device that is simple and easy to use whether you need to handle it at home or on the move. The readings given by this oximeter is highly accurate.

What we love about this product:

  • The Finger Pulse Oximeter comes with a solid 2-year guarantee that is very reassuring.
  • The bright LED screen makes the reading crystal clear and easy to see.
  • It won't pinch your finger and is safe to use for people of any age, including kids.

How Does a Pulse Oximeter for Sleep Apnea Work?

Describing in detail what a pulse oximeter does and how it works might confuse users even more. Simply put, light is passed through your finger, then the light which was absorbed by the oxygenated blood in your finger is measured by the device. Basically, that means that the oximeter looks at how the light that has transferred through (gone through) your finger scans before and after and uses that information to know how much oxygen is in your blood. Still not sure how it works?

When using any pulse oximeter while you sleep, it will measure how your blood oxygen levels fluctuate or stay the same during sleep. If your blood oxygen levels are consistently above 95%, you are fine. But if your blood oxygen levels drop below this during the night, you should be made aware of it. This is when an oximeter with an alarm would be most effective.

See Also: Best Tea for Sleep Insomnia: The Best Bedtime Drinks

How to Maximize the Benefits of Your Pulse Oximeter

You can add to the beneficial use of a pulse oximeter by doing your part as well. Here are some tips to maximize the benefits of your pulse oximeter:

Follow the right kind of diet:

  • You should try to cut your salt intake completely, or at least consume much less.
  • Add lots of fiber and potassium to your daily diet (consult your doctor) and try to get your blood pressure on a healthy level. You need about 28 grams of fiber a day; food that will help with this includes avocado, sweet potatoes, broccoli and apples with their skin. For potassium eat bananas, apricots, and spinach. Also remember to exercise regularly, focusing on cardiovascular exercises that will improve your blood flow as well as your heart's health.

Use the pulse oximeter efficiently:

  • Using your pulse oximeter should be an aid in dealing with and treating sleep apnea. Use your pulse oximeter throughout the entire night to get the best results. Your device will measure your heart rate and blood oxygen levels and can help to determine if your current treatment is being effective by showing any improvements in your blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

Common Terms

To be sure that you're using your device correctly you have to understand it correctly. Here are some of the terms you'll come across when using your oximeter:

#1. Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)

Oxygen saturation is a somewhat fancy way of referring to how much oxygen you have in your blood

#2. Pulse Rate

Your pulse rate merely is your heart beats/minute. When you have sleep apnea, you need to know what your pulse rate is during the night and how it changes.

#3. Perfusion Index (PI)

The Perfusion index is a way to tell of your O2 saturation reading is accurate. If your perfusion index is below 0.4%, you should know that your oxygen reading is not as reliable. The blood flow in the peripheral blood vessels is measured with the perfusion index.

See also: Best Anti-Snoring Devices

Tips on Using a Pulse Oximeter

If you've never used a one before, you could be a little bit confused with how precisely this little device should be used. Usually, a pulse oximeter would have a manual included, but if yours didn't, or you lost it, here are some tips to make using your product correctly and to its full potential.

Different features

Every pulse oximeter comes with its own unique characteristics. Most of the features are universal, though, so you could expect all of them to have at least a few of these:

Size - The size of your pulse oximeter is essential to ensure that your finger will fit well and you will get the most accurate readings possible. Most pulse oximeters will be available in sizes from 0.3 inches to 1 inch. If you're buying online, you should measure your finger and look at the information given about the product.

Battery life - Most pulse oximeters will come with batteries included, and in general, they will have to be replaced sooner or later. Usually, a battery life indicator will let you know that battery life is running low and you should buy new ones. Some pulse oximeters can be charged with a USB cable, so if replacing batteries is a nuisance to you, look out for a pulse oximeter with this feature.

Measurement result display - The majority of pulse oximeters will display the results of your measurements on an LED screen. The sizes of these screens vary, and you should choose one with a screen big enough for you to see the results clearly.

Alarm systems - Almost all pulse oximeters will have built-in alarms to alert you to a number of things like low battery, heart rate, and oxygen levels.

Return policies and Warranties - Any good pulse monitor will come with a good warranty and a good return policy. You should always keep this in mind when shopping for a new pulse oximeter.

Now for the practical part

Wash your hands before using for the most accurate results. Also, remove any nail polish from the finger that you'll be using.

Your hands should be warm when you use your oximeter. Cold hands won't have enough blood flow for accurate measurements. You can warm your hands by simply rubbing them together.

Don't use your pulse oximeter in an area with too much light. It works by emitting light to take measurements and if you're in an area with a lot of bright light, it will interfere with this process and could cause way inaccurate results.

Final Thoughts

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are probably looking for ways to treat your condition and stay healthy. Using the best pulse oximeter for sleep apnea will be a valuable tool that will help you monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, two critical factors for people with sleep apnea.

Share all the data you get from your device with your doctor to utilize the aid of your oximeter and start treating your sleep apnea.


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