Trucking is one such industry does not have any age bar. Adults to senior citizens possess the right to serve America by delivering goods and services across the country. Though it involves lot of courage and dedication to be a part of the industry, every year there are new Truckers joining in the league. We do know that there is no timings, food supply or regular sleep patterns followed because the work demands varies each and every day. By following such a routine of lifestyle, there are high chances for developing various disorders which will ruin your support system.
Among the disorders, Sleep Apnea is one such sleep disorder that causes brief but frequent breathing interruptions while sleeping. The pauses can last for 10 seconds or more and is lightly to occur for than 400 times in a night. Almost one third of Commercial Truck Drivers i.e. around 28% are suffering from sleep apnea.
It is widely proved that individuals with Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 35, enlarged tonsils and adenoids and large neck girth are most at risk. Adding up in the list, around 70% of overweight individuals suffer from OSA.
However, it is better to be sure than assuming things. Not everyone in the mentioned risk factor has OSA.
Risk Factor, Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:
There are no particular factors which can say that sleep apnea would be affecting them. However, we have zeroed down to some obvious factors which includes:
- · Family history of sleep apnea
- · Obese or overweight
- · Neck circumference covering 17 inches or greater for men, and 16 inches or greater for women
- · Aged 40+
- · Having a small upper airway, recessed chin, small jaw, and/or large overbite
- · Smoking and alcohol
- · Ethnicity
If you are having one or more of these risk factors, then check out the common Sleep Apneasymptoms.
Do remember, sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed and undetected. The best way to discover and to be sure, a sleep study would be ideal. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below:
- · Loud snoring
- · Headaches/nausea
- · Excessive daytime sleepiness/ drowsiness
- · Irritation/ fatigue
- · Night sweats and Sexual dysfunction
- · Dry mouth or sore throat upon wakening
- · Potential for weight gain
- · Depression/ Disturbed sleep
- · Concentration and memory problems
- · Frequent nighttime urination
The Risk of Untreated Sleep Apnea:
The biggest danger a trucker can face with obstructive sleep apnea, excessive sleepiness during the day; which means while being behind the wheels. Yes, it does affect your alertness and performance as it makes it very difficult to stay awake, focusing and reacting as per the situation. It puts the commercial Truck Driver in bind.
Safely navigating 80,000 pounds on a perfect road, with alertness is dangerously enough but when you throw in excessive sleep caused by apnea into the mix, you will be able to see where things are potential to go wrong. Other than untreated OSA, there are other obvious danger like hypertension, stroke, heart attack and few other heart diseases to follow.
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea:
Usually, diagnosis takes place in a clinic where you need to stay up in the night for a night or two depending on the research or analyze to be precise. Your sleep patterns will be observed and based on the notes taken, the result will be concluded. However, there is another test of deriving to the point can be done through the BMI of 35 or higher for obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment:
When it comes to OSA treatment, most of the health professional recommends continuous use of positive airway pressure (CPAP Machine). This machine accompanies a mask that fits over your nose while air pressure prevents the throat from collapsing. According to a study, approximately 30% of crash risk is reduced if the sufferers use CPAP sleep apnea machine for a year or so.
Other than machinery treatment, you can also work out on your lifestyle, moderate weight loss, kill your drinking and smoking habits, get rid of your sleeping pills. Once these things are eliminated, there are high chances to treat sleep apnea.
If you are not keeping well due to sleep apnea, IRS may not take this as a reason for not filing your taxes on time. Again, you would be charged penalties and interest. So do make sure you e-file your HVUT form 2290 before time slips off only at Tax2290.com. July is already on your calendars. Little haste and little alertness will save you from DOT inspection. After all, health is wealth!