Many Truck Drivers Struggle with Untreated Sleep Apnea
Commercial Drivers and Transportation Risk Managers are constantly faced with the problem of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), as they try to find ways to improve safety on the road. Sleep apnea is known to contribute to daytime drowsiness because the untreated disorder severly disrupts a victim’s sleep cycle.
A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study showed that out of 3.4 million professional commercial drivers, about 26% are suffering from some from of sleep apnea. According to research, the condition can impact driving performance greatly by increasing fatigue, and in turn, boosting the risk for crashes.
“I promise you there are thousands of Commercial Drivers out there that have some form of sleep apnea. Many drivers don’t want to talk about it, or are in denial that they have a medical condition, or don’t even know they have it. They are not educated on sleepiness, and they might think that daytime sleepiness is normal to them and they don’t realize it is abnormal,” said Don Osterberg, Vice President of Safety and Driver Training for Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schneider National Inc.
“Commercial truck drivers are vital to our company and our global economy, but their highway miles can be dangerous without proper safety implementation,” Dan Sanker CEO of CaseStack, a third party logistics firm based in Fayetteville. Since 2013, each state has gotten its own set of guidelines as to how it screens and tests drivers suspected of having sleep apnea. The law ensures testing, screening or treatment for company drivers.
Treatment solutions for OSA range from a CPAP to convenient, comfortable and effective oral appliances. If left untreated, it prevents you from taking in the right amount of oxygen while sleeping. This, makes the whole body work harder. The decreased flow of oxygen to the brain and other parts can lead to many serious health conditions.
To learn more about the treatments for snoring and sleep apnea and why oral appliance therapy is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate the CPAP machine click here.