Obstructive Sleep Apnea Testing
Sleep apnea can do far more damage than just affecting your sleep. It can also affect your daytime alertness and performance- this is especially important for those working in the commercial vehicle industry.
When left untreated, sleep apnea can make it difficult to stay awake and react quickly while driving. Many studies have shown that people with untreated sleep apnea are at higher risk for being involved in motor vehicle accidents which are fatigue-related.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is an agency in the US Dept. of Transportation (DOT) that regulates the trucking industry. A study sponsored by FMCSA and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations found that nearly one-third of commercial truck drivers suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea.
While FMSCA regulations do not address sleep apnea directly, they do state that an individual may be medically disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle if they’ve been diagnosed with any condition that can interfere with their ability to drive safely. But when treated successfully, a driver can regain their “medically-qualified-to-drive” status.
If a DOT medical examiner finds that a truck driver has sleep apnea during a routine physical exam, that driver could be disqualified from driving until a sleep test is completed and any prescribed treatment program is set in motion.
If you are a commercial truck driver, it’s of the utmost importance that you are wide-awake and very alert while behind the wheel. If you do have untreated sleep apnea and you drive for a living, you should definitely seek help for your condition as required by the government. If you are unsure if you have sleep apnea, you can undergo a sleep test to determine whether or not you suffer from this condition that affects millions of Americans.
Commercial truck drivers can be disqualified for a DOT medical card if they have untreated moderate to severe sleep apnea. Truck drivers who are showing signs of sleep apnea may qualify to a home sleep test to determine if they have the condition.
This type of test is inexpensive, accurate, easy to use and comfortable. It also provides quick results and includes a diagnosis and report from a sleep physician or certified sleep technician. Our practice coordinates with physicians throughout the Bay Area to make it easy for you to get the testing you need.
Furthermore, now drivers have an alternative to the CPAP mask with oral appliance therapy. This type of sleep apnea treatment is portable, requires no mask, no electricity, and is much more comfortable. It is the number one alternative to the CPAP machine.
To learn more about this type of treatment, learn more about our CPAP alternatives on our Oral Devices page under Treatments.