Drivers who are distracted by the phones or GPS systems are a known hazard to everyone on the road, as evidenced by a wealth of bumper stickers, commercials and billboards warning against the practice. However, a driver who is sleep deprived or drowsy can be just as dangerous as one whose attention is completely preoccupied by their phone.
Nowhere is this more precaution more important to personal and public safety than in commercial truck drivers, driving larger and more advanced pieces of machinery than anyone else on the road. Truck-driving is one of the backbones of the American economic system. Working grueling hours under tight deadlines in order to keep commerce moving, truck drivers are essential to many aspects of life. However, an aspect of this profession that inherently falls by the wayside is driving while sufficiently rested and alert. Because of this reality, nowhere is the emerging field of medical technology that falls under sleep testing more important than with commercial truck drivers.
Spending long hours on the road, often alone, and driving large and complicated pieces of machinery, it is essential to the health and professional life of truck drivers to make sure they are getting restful sleep whenever possible. Sleep apnea is one of the fastest-growing diagnoses in America today, owing largely to increasingly apparent connections to other common health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, many people are at risk of sleep apnea because of more mundane circumstances like a thick neck.
For people with sleep apnea, entering the restful portion of sleep, REM sleep, which allows for true recharging and deep rest, can be difficult if not impossible for even an hour at a time. This can lead to decreased awareness, increased irritability, and generally poorer reflexes and cognition. Obviously this can be a detriment to people of any profession, but in few places could it be more dangerous than driving a large piece of equipment thousands of miles on crowded roads for days at a time. Many patients have reported dramatically increased quality of life and professional effectiveness after being properly diagnosed with sleep apnea after sleep testing.
Because of this fact, many trucking companies now require that their drivers be tested for obstructive sleep apnea. After sleep testing, if truck drivers are found to have apnea, they will often be required to utilize CPAP therapy to assist with treating their apnea. CPAP therapy has made a great deal of advancement in recent years, but it can still be a big lifestyle and habit adjustment for many patients. Despite the initial period of adjustment to regular CPAP therapy and compliance, many truckers report that they feel more alert and effective as they drive long routes and work long hours.
Though CPAP therapy due to sleep testing can initially feel like a burden for truck drivers, it can ultimately improve their quality of life, their safety, and their overall longevity, as CPAP therapy is proven to drastically decrease the likelihood of more advanced, serious, and debilitating health concerns such as heart disease and resulting surgery.
Working with an experienced durable medical provider like Aeroflow Healthcare can massively ease not only the facilitation of your sleep test, but your adherence to CPAP therapy after testing. Our trained representatives are sensitive and experienced with the specific needs of truck drivers regarding CPAP therapy. Do not delay at the potential cost of your safety and quality of life, contact Aeroflow Healthcare today to speak to one of our trained trucking and industrial representatives.