Driving when You Have Sleep Apnea

By National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — From nhtsa.gov Published at October 12, 2011 Views 4,446 Comments 1 Likes 2

Driving is a complex skill. Our ability to drive safely can be affected by changes in our physical, emotional and mental health.

How can sleep apnea affect my driving?

Because sleep apnea affects your sleep, it also affects how you function during the day. Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult for you to stay awake, to focus your eyes, to remain alert and to react quickly to driving situations. If you are very tired or find yourself falling asleep while at work or at home, you should not drive. It is unsafe for you and others on the road.

Many sleep apnea patients say they never fall asleep while driving. That may be true. But remember, you don’t have to fall asleep to have a crash. You simply have to be inattentive or not sharp – and with untreated sleep apnea, you are not as sharp as you should be.

Can I still drive if I have sleep apnea?

Most likely yes, if your condition is treated the right way. But don’t drive if you are not being treated. Treatment offers the best hope of being able to continue your independent driving. It is rare that an effective treatment cannot be found for sleep apnea, but other health issues may complicate the treatment plan.

Read the full article at nhtsa.gov Bullet-go

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Comments (1 comment)

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cmjapnea November 27, 2012 at 11:29 am   
Edited November 27, 2012 at 11:34 am by cmjapnea

Believe me,get your sleep apnea treated. I was in denial and untreated in 2004,when I dozed off and collided with the right rear of a dump truck,flipped and rolled into a ditch,and got a ride to the hospital in the St.Louis ARCH medivac helicopter. I had to have 43 staples to re-attach my scalp and other injuries. I am now treated and it makes a world of difference! Oh,
and by the way,buckle up. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't.

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