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What You Need to Know about Sleep Apnea & DOT Exams



If you have questions about your CPAP, and would like them answered prior to your DOT Exam you can ask a professional on our live chat. You can find the DOT Express Las Vegas live chat in the bottom right corner of our website.


Sleep Apnea is a disorder that occurs during your sleep. Your body has episodes of respiratory pauses. These pauses cause the oxygen levels in your blood to drop. When our blood is low in oxygen it makes entering rem sleep difficult. Rem sleep only occurs in short bursts but it’s where we get most of our rest. A distribution in rem sleep can cause you to lose out on rest even if you’ve a solid 8 hours of sleep.


If you are concerned you might have sleep apnea, you should have your primary care provider or a DOT Express professional refer you to a specialist for a sleep study. This is very important for your body’s ability to have restful sleep; especially if you’re a commercial driver. Undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea tends to cause extreme daytime fatigue. This can lead to serious drops in motor skills and falling asleep behind the wheel. This endangers not only your commercial driving career but also your life and the life of those around you.

According to the NHTSA ( The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ) “…almost one-third of commercial drivers have some degree of sleep apnea” with the most vulnerable group for falling asleep behind the wheel being young men ages 25 or younger. This tells us young male commercial drivers should take extra precaution when looking for sleep apnea.





Being a commercial driver, it’s hard to get proper rest. Even more so when you have deadlines, a long route or/and you’re dealing with sleep apnea. This means you should be finding a solution to your sleep apnea before it can endanger your career or safety. The most common treatment is a device called CPAP. It provides oxygen to your body as you sleep. It normally consists of a breathing mask hooked to a monitoring system and an oxygen tank. This helps provide your body with enough oxygen even if your breathing is irregular. Taking care of your OSA before a DOT physical can greatly improve your chances of passing the DOT physical exam. If you would like to talk to us about sleep apnea prior to your exam, you can contact our DOT Express Las Vegas team.


If you have previously failed your DOT physical our professional health care providers will guide you through the steps you need for retaking and passing your next DOT exam. At DOT Express you’re not just another number and we make your care our utmost priority. If you have any concerns with an upcoming DOT physical you can contact us at your convenience. Our team of DOT physical experts will be able to answer any questions you may have about your physical. You can also talk with our experts at any of your appointments. Our team provides express service with quality care. You can find the DOT Express Las Vegas live chat in the bottom right corner of our website, call or use our contact form.


Special thanks to the official resources used to help with this blog post:

www.nhtsa.gov

www.cdc.gov

www.sleepfoundation.org

www.commons.wikimedia.org


Drowsy Driving. FMCSA. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2022, from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/driver-safety/sleep-apnea/drowsy-driving-quiz