Get the answers and help with Sleep Apnea. Not sure you have it? Looking for a way to determine without expensive sleep studies in Hospital or Clinic? We have the answers.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to several minutes and they happen many times a night. In the most common form this follows loud snoring. There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As it disrupts normal sleep, those affected are often sleepy or tired during the day. In children it may cause problems in school or hyperactivity.
There are three forms of sleep apnea: obstructive (OSA), central (CSA), and a combination of the two. OSA Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form. Risk factors for OSA include being overweight, a family history of the condition, allergies, and enlarged tonsils. In OSA, breathing is interrupted by a blockage of airflow, while in CSA Central Sleep Apnea breathing stops due to a lack of effort to breathe. People with sleep apnea are often not aware they have it. Often it is picked up by a family member. Sleep apnea is often diagnosed with an overnight sleep study. For a diagnosis of sleep apnea, more than five episodes an hour must occur.
Treatment may include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and surgery. Lifestyles changes may include avoiding alcohol, weight loss, stopping smoking, and sleeping on their side. Breathing devices include the use of a CPAP machine. Without treatment sleep apnea may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, obesity, and motor vehicle collisions.
Due to spending long hours on the road and variable work schedules, truck drivers are at a higher risk than the general population for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially dangerous sleep disorder. Individuals with moderate to severe OSA are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents, a risk that’s unacceptable for the trucking industry.
New regulations from the FMCSA are also bringing about a greater need for quick and accurate sleep apnea testing and treatment in the transportation industry. Our DOT Center helps provide Sleep Solutions in the form of easy-to-use and accredited home testing for drivers, as well as turnkey programs for safety directors and commercial driving companies. These Sleep Centers offer affordable treatment and free coaching for drivers diagnosed with OSA. Their combined services are designed to help drivers meet the requirements for CDL licensing and get back on the road to health.
The Sleep Centers we work with provide support for drivers throughout their treatment, and help them monitor their compliance. Their services are affordable and treatment is available with financing options. With the Sleep Centers working with us, drivers can benefit from improved health and work performance, and carriers can reduce down times and turnovers.
FMCSA requirements for those with OSA are that of A sleep study every 2 years and 70% compliance with use of the CPAP machine. Today CPAP machines are small and portable.
The first step is to come in and have a commercial driver medical exam by a member of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. After that examination we are better able to guide you through the possibility of the need for Sleep Apnea Testing or dismiss the need outright. Whatever the decisions, there are alternatives and choices that we will offer to you.
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