Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) & Commercial Drivers
What is OSA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common but under-diagnosed breathing disorder that occurs during sleep. It happens when the upper airway—the portion between the back of the nose and the voicebox—collapses, blocking air from reaching the lungs.
Studies show that those with untreated OSA have a higher risk of motor vehicle crash. Therefore, untreated OSA in commercial drivers puts both the driver and the public at increased risk.
Untreated OSA can cause drowsiness behind the wheel, making commercial drivers with the disorder a risk to both themselves and the public. According to a recent study, “truck drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who failed to adhere to treatment had a rate of preventable crashes 5X higher than that of truckers without the ailment”.
What causes OSA?
Risk factors for OSA include:
Middle age and older men; postmenopausal females
Obesity with a BMI at or above 33
Neck size over 17” in m
en and 16” in females A narrowed upper airway
Cardiovascular disease, especially high blood pressure
Untreated OSA & Your Health
The effects are serious and many...
Commercial drivers 5x more likely to crash
2.5x more likely to have high blood pressure
3.9x more likely to have congestive heart failure
2x chance of heart attack and/or stroke
contributes to sexual impotence
40% greater risk of depression
2x chance of dying during sleeping hours
untreated OSA can result in death 10 years sooner than if treated
Testing for OSA is done by you, at your home, in your own bed, in one night. Using cutting-edge WatchPAT technology, we have ensured that drivers no longer need to visit sleep clinics to complete expensive overnight testing. Instead, the WatchPAT device we provide fits comfortably on your arm and reads important biological and sleep data which is later interpreted by a sleep doctor. This testing takes only one night to complete and is far less expensive and more convenient than any alternative.
- If your WatchPAT data shows that you do not have OSA, no further testing or treatment will be necessary.
- If your WatchPAT data shows that you have OSA, you will be given a diagnosis and treatment order by a sleep doctor and we will coordinate treatment with you. Regular use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is the best treatment on the market for OSA. Should you need it, we will deliver the device to you and instruct you on how to properly use it.