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Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Sleep apnea diagnosis is an ever growing concern in the transportation industry. Recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adopted 11 recommendations concerning obstructive sleep apnea requirements.

As we see more and more occupational physicians screen for sleep apnea, we are going to see more drivers with a sleep apnea diagnosis. Drivers with a sleep apnea diagnosis must show compliance with treatment for recertification. One of the current recommendations for screening drivers for
sleep apnea diagnosis is a body mass index of 35 or greater. A sleep apnea diagnosis in no way means an end to someone’s driving career. Once test and if diagnosed a driver will be able to move forward with treatment and when compliance is reached will receive certification. The sleep apnea diagnosis allows the diagnosed person to obtain a better life for themselves not only physically but mentally. Sleep Apnea is a dangerous and all too common disorder but can be helped with treatment. Many drivers feel that the tired feeling comes from time on the road but if you are suffering from sleep apnea and are undiagnosed that may be the root of waking up tired and feeling un-refreshed even after hours of sleep. Waking up more tired then when you went to bed, memory loss, morning headaches, depression, can all be risk factors associated with sleep apnea; addressing these symptoms and receiving treatment can allow a driver to be more alert and well rested. More and more trucking companies are creating policies to keep their drivers as well as other drivers on the road safe by implementing a screening, testing, treatment and compliance program for drivers who are at risk for a sleep apnea diagnosis, this in turn lowers their overall health care spending as a company as well as bettering the lives of their drivers and all around safety to others.