Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Drowsy Driving a Major Cause of Car Accidents

The most recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 5,000 to 6,000 fatal auto accidents are caused by driver fatigue each year. With daytime fatigue a major symptom of sleep apnea, it’s important for people at risk of falling asleep at the wheel to seek treatment for their own safety, not to mention the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

Even after a full night’s rest, many sleep apnea patients complain of feeling tired throughout the day. While this can lead to sluggishness and difficulty focusing on routine tasks, exhaustion and operating a car are a dangerous mix.

Lack of sleep can affect driving in the following ways: 

  • Diminished attention to road conditions and traffic
  • Reaction times become longer
  • Sound judgment and decision making become more difficult
Studies have shown that being awake for 24 hours straight has the same impact on the body as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .10. Every state in the country has implemented laws making it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08.

Though sleep apnea patients aren’t entirely deprived of sleep, the regular interruptions to breathing can cause a sufferer to wake up sometimes hundreds of times a night. Cumulatively, the loss of sleep can lead to a variety of health problems.

If you suffer from sleep apnea symptoms, you could be putting yourself and other people at risk when you’re on the road. Contact a qualified sleep physician in your area today, or call 1-866-727-6275 (1-8-NO-PAP-MASK) for more information.

posted by Admin at 7:29 AM