Sleep Apnea & Drowsy Driving

Tram-Blair Dental and Snoring Blog

Sleep Apnea & Drowsy Driving

Sleep Apnea & Drowsy Driving
Posted: Oct 18, 2012
Categories: Blog, Sleep Apnea

We commonly see clients for consultations regarding snoring and when they arrive they seem energetic and fully alert. However, once they are sitting comfortably and we begin the consult, I often find out, within minutes, just how sleep-deprived they really are. During a 45 minute period they may nearly doze off a half a dozen times or more; leaving me to wonder how risky it is for them to be driving a car in that state.

A Canadian study published in the Feb. 2008 issue of Thorax determined that people with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) were 2x as likely to be in a car accident compared to the general population. Other studies have shown that drivers with OSA perform as poorly on simulated steering and psychomotor reaction time tests as legally intoxicated individuals according to an article in the May 2004 isssue of Sleep.

An added problem with some drowsy drivers is that they are unaware of their sleepiness and poorer driving performance making them even more vulnerable to car accidents.

It's clear that driving while drowsy is a serious issue with potentially serious consequences and deserves our attention (no pun intended).

It was for that reason, and several others, that led us to write an article on the topic of problem snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. We hoped that at least one of the local newspapers would see the importance of shedding light on the subject and all the treatment options available.

Fortunately, The Record agreed with the need to help raise awareness. If you would like to read the article we were involved in along with respirology and sleep medicine specialist Dr. Anil Nagpal you can click on the link below.

http://www.therecord.com/living/healthfitness/article/517437--sleep-apnea-sleepless-nights

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