The hidden danger of sleep apnoea
It’s known that driver fatigue and tiredness compromise safety and it’s considered a major cause of road accidents.
Many drivers will have experienced ‘sleepiness’ when driving but it is important to recognise any underlying medical conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
Drivers with OSA have had a motor accident due to falling asleep at the wheel as many sufferers don’t realise they have the condition.
If you have OSA you may experience excessive daytime sleepiness and other symptoms including:
- Loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps)
- Generally restless sleep
- Falling asleep during the day
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating/forgetfulness
- Irritability and or mood/behaviour changes
If you suspect you may have this condition it is important to contact your GP. The condition is normally treatable without the need for surgery.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common disease with a recent analysis showing that 1 in 5 American adults has at least mild OSA. That translates to 40 million people. About one third of that number has moderate or severe sleep apnoea.