Many DOT and Occupational Physicians as well as trucking companies have taken the recommendations around sleep apnea testing seriously and have implemented screening policies. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms or risk indicators associated with sleep apnea, Aeroflow Industrial Clinics can help.
Symptoms and Risk Indicators of Sleep Apnea include:
- Loud Snoring
- Morning Headaches and Nausea
- High Blood Pressure
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
- Neck Size > 17 inches
- Being Overweight
- Tobacco and Alcohol Use
- Family History of Sleep Apnea
- Witnessed Apneas (pauses in breath while sleeping)
Do not wait on regulations or your next DOT physical to be screened; sleep apnea is a serious condition and must be addressed.
Sleep Apnea Statistics & Rates in Drivers
A study sponsored by the FMCSA and the American Trucking Associations estimated that nearly one in three commercial truck drivers suffers from mild to severe OSA. With age and weight being the major factors influencing this disorder, it is shown that commercial drivers often exhibit symptoms that could turn into sleep apnea. The good news? If you are one of the many commercial drivers whom sleep apnea has affected, Aeroflow Industrial can help you get back to a healthy lifestyle.
Treating Sleep Apnea
It’s imperative that someone experiencing truck driver sleep apnea is evaluated by a medical professional in order to be properly diagnosed and receive the treatment they need. Drivers with sleep apnea need a complete medical history, physical examination, and specific testing performed.
Mild cases of sleep apnea respond well to changes as simple as changing the patient’s sleep position. Losing weight can often be beneficial, as well. Sleep apnea episodes can sometimes be reduced by a special device that keeps an individual on their side during sleep. Treatment protocol requires commitment and determination by both the doctor and the patient. Doctors sometimes prescribe dental appliances for the patient to wear in an effort to control sleep apnea.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is usually recommended for most cases of sleep apnea. It is the most widely used and effective treatment method in use today. The patient sleeps with a mask while continuous air is forced through the nasal passages into the airways. This prevents the throat from collapsing during sleep. Some side effects that might be experienced are nasal irritation, abdominal bloating and headaches.
Long Haul Drivers and Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea and long haul drivers can spell disaster — as many as 3 out of 10 truck drivers suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea. Drivers who suffer from untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can be up to 7 times more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related crash. With an estimated 13% of truck crashes being fatigue related, addressing the issue of sleep apnea in long haul drivers is a must.
The good news is that apnea is treatable, and a driver can continue their career when successfully treated.
Commercial Driver Sleep Tests
Sleep apnea causes a low reaction time, daytime drowsiness, and fatigue for drivers, which means you can become a danger to others as well as yourself if not properly treated. The results of a study by the FMCSA revealed that 17.6 percent of CDL holders had mild sleep apnea, 5.8 percent had moderate sleep apnea, and 4.7 percent had severe sleep apnea (U.S. Department of Transportation).
Even if you haven’t been to a physician, you may recognize the signs of sleep apnea, which include snoring, morning or late night headaches, problems with memory, problems breathing while sleeping or restlessness while sleeping. If these symptoms apply to you, then it’s time for a sleep test.
How a Home Sleep Study Works
The in-home sleep study is an excellent choice for commercial drivers because it can be taken when and where you want without having to take time off the road for an in-lab test. Our home sleep test allows you to take the test when and where you want, even overnight in the truck. Call us today or fill out a request form online and a representative will contact you to conduct a brief survey and gather the necessary information to ship you a sleep test.
Here’s how it works:
- Aeroflow schedules one of our sleep tests for commercial drivers to be shipped to your location.
- You take the test overnight and ship back the following day in the postage paid package.
- Aeroflow Sleep Clinicians will review your study and follow up with the recommended treatment plan if treatment is necessary.
- If treatment is necessary, our Auto-Titrating CPAP machines are compact and easy to take on the road. We provide inverters that allow the machine to plug into the truck so you can have a seamless transition between treatment and travel.
It’s that quick and that easy! With our in-home test, you can be treated for sleep apnea without ever missing a road trip.
How Aeroflow Industrial Clinics Can Help
If you are in the trucking industry and want to learn more about sleep apnea and how it affects you, call Aeroflow Industrial Clinics today! You can also complete the FREE Wellness Survey and Sleep Apnea Screening located on our website to learn your sleep score.
We also provide 24-hour support and compliance monitoring which can be sent directly to your DOT physician for recertification. If you are a long haul or commercial driver and are concerned about sleep apnea, contact Aeroflow Industrial Clinics today for a consultation with one of our sleep specialists.