Thermal Sensor


Definition - What does Thermal Sensor mean?

A thermal sensor is a small attachment placed at the nose and/or mouth and connected to a sleep apnea device used to detect and monitor body temperature variations in patients. Thermistors and thermocouples are the two primary forms of thermal sensors applied during regular sleep cycle examinations. Thermal sensors help to measure airflow patterns, calculating breathing deviations during a typical circadian sleep rhythm cycle overnight.

WorkplaceTesting explains Thermal Sensor

For many people, sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that induces sporadic episodes of shortness of breath which then result in disruptive nighttime sleep habits. Symptoms such as fatigue, impaired concentration, memory lapses, irritability, decreased motivation, and marked daily drowsiness can compromise individual health and interfere with job performance at work.

The application of thermal sensors serves as an effective resource in analyzing airflow rate based on ambient temperature fluctuations. Thermal sensors contain a signal that responds to the consistent inflow of air mimicking respiration cycles via body temperature homeostasis and room temperature status. For instance, thermistors and thermocouples consist of different electronic materials that trigger their respective signal to heat up when a patient exhales reflecting current body temperature followed by an immediate cooling down corresponding to room temperature values.

Different thermal sensors assist in regulating temperature control via connection to a sleep apnea machine. A steady, influx of warm air is vital to individuals suffering from sleep apnea and related sleep disorders, in particular, during winter seasons where cold air tends to restrict airflow entering and leaving the lungs.

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