Sleep apnea is a disorder that results in multiple stoppages in breathing while a person slumbers. It’s an issue that’s growing in prevalence, as over 22 million Americans now suffer from some form of the condition. The sleep interruptions associated with sleep apnea can lead to several issues, one of which is daytime lethargy. This can be especially dangerous for commercial truck drivers and the passengers who share the highway with them. As you continue reading, you’ll learn what some of the other warning signs of sleep apnea in Denver are and why it’s important to be tested and treated.
Common Signs of Sleep Apnea
The first step to combatting the effects of sleep apnea is to recognize the warning signs. Here are some indicators:
- Mood swings
- Inability to focus
- Morning headaches
- Bouts of depression
- Morning throat soreness
At the first notice of any of the above symptoms, it’s important to bring it to a physician’s attention so a sleep test can be scheduled.
The Added Danger for Commercial Truck Drivers
The average truck driver’s load weighs several tons. That means that he or she has the responsibility to be even more careful and vigilant on the road than other drivers. While the government places restrictions on how many hours each operator can transport daily, he or she must still be highly alert within that window of time to prevent accidents. Untreated sleep apnea can pose a safety threat. Thus, if a truck driver recognizes any of the warning signs of the condition, getting tested and treated could possibly save several lives.
Sleep Testing Made Easy
The first step to getting tested is to take a sleep study pre-screening questionnaire, which will usually include the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. The results should then be given to a physician and, depending on the results, the next step may be to visit a sleep testing facility. If diagnosed with sleep apnea, the driver can then seek treatment from a sleep dentist.
How Sleep Apnea Can be Treated
The most common form of treating sleep apnea is with a cPAP machine, which is designed to force air into the throat to prevent apnea. However, some patients find it to be cumbersome, loud and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there’s an alternative: treatment with an oral sleep appliance. The small apparatus easily fits into the mouth and gently shifts the jaw forward to maintain normal airflow.
If you or a loved one is a truck driver who has demonstrated any of the above symptoms, then it’s imperative to follow through with sleep apnea testing in Denver. It will make the highways much safer.
About the Author
Consistently recognized by 5280 Magazine as one of Colorado’s Top Dentists, Dr. Gary Radz specializes in treating sleep apnea. As a person who manages sleep apnea, himself, he understands how the condition can affect one’s life. Thus, Dr. Radz has a level of empathy that is uncommon. A member of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines and the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, he helps his patients rest better at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.