Last year, the FMCSA and the Medical Review Board recommended truckers with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher, be tested for sleep apnea. According to the FMCSA, up to 28 percent of all U.S. CDL holders have sleep apnea. The FMCSA wants drivers with sleep apnea to be required to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder, especially in those who are overweight, that can be very serious. Those with sleep apnea either stop breathing or only take shallow breaths, or takes pauses in their breathing, up to 20-30 times an hour.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, you are unable to get enough air through your nose and mouth. When that happens, the amount of oxygen in your blood may drop. Normal breaths resume with a snort or choking sound. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
When your sleep is interrupted throughout the night, you can be drowsy during the day. People with sleep apnea are at higher risk for car crashes, work-related accidents and other medical problems.
Jack Van Steenburg, chief safety officer of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the FMCSA is pursuing two rules related to sleep apnea:
1. Coming soon- The registration of medical professionals who examine truck drivers will be required.
2. The FMCSA will provide guidelines on how to deal with sleep apnea, including a possible mandate that drivers diagnosed with sleep apnea would be required to have a CPAP machine and using it durning sleep.
Have you been tested for sleep apnea? Do you think getting proper diagnosis and treatment for the condition is important, or just another useless government regulation? We want to know!