How should a truck driver treat their sleep apnea?

This question was asked in Carrollwood, Florida on 06/15/2012.
I'm a truck driver and I think I suffer from sleep apnea. What can I do to treat it? Do I need to get a sleep study?

Doctors Answers (4)

Ramie A. Tritt, M.D., FRCSC
Answered on: 6/27/2012

If a truck driver believes that he or she has sleep apnea based on symptoms such as excessive daytime fatigue, waking up feeling tired, dosing off while driving, or observed to have apnea episodes while sleeping, then Yes a sleep study is indicated. If the sleep study findings indicate sleep apnea, then treatment is indicated based on the following factors: severity of the sleep apnea as determined by the results of the sleep study, the symptom history and physical examination findings.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 6/18/2012

Truck drivers should have their sleep apnea diagnosed and treated just like anyone else. Not only does sleep apnea increase the risk for stroke and heart attack it usually leads to fatigue and excessive sleepiness. Anyone who drives, especially those who drive for long distances such as truck drivers and those who carry passengers such as pilots and bus drivers, are especially in need of attention. Yes, a sleep study is essential to make the diagnosis of sleep apnea and to determine the appropriate treatment which may include CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 6/15/2012

Definitely. Getting a sleep study is the best way to know if you have sleep apnea or not. Once diagnosed a sleep doctor can help find the most appropriate way to treat it.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 6/15/2012

If you are a commercial truck driver and have long runs where at some point you become drowsy or have had a near miss in having an accident then you may need to be screening for sleep apnea to determine the severity of your sleep disordered breathing. If you are overweight in partiuclar have truncal obesity around the abdomen, chest and neck, are a habitual snorer, have poorly refreshing sleep and a large neck size (> 43 cm) then a screening sleep study is definitiely warranted. A CPAP or BIPAP is then prescribed and is usually portable and can be hooked up to an outlet in the truck cabin for use during sleep.