Sleep Apnea Makes Driving Risky, says Study

Associated with numerous health problems, sleep apnea is known for being especially dangerous. Now, a new study indicates that it can also kill by causing serious car wrecks.

Unsafe Driving

Car accident (photo by ja)Two studies out of the University Hospital in Leeds, England, suggest that sleep apnea can drastically increase the risk of automobile accidents by making people less effective behind the wheel. In one, sleep apneic drivers performed poorly in simulated driving tests that seemed relatively unchallenging to well-rested participants. They also had trouble following even the simplest directions, thanks to apparent memory problems.

The second study consisted of a survey which included 69 healthy people and 118 sleep apneics. In the end, over one-third of the latter admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel, compared to around ten percent of healthy sleepers.

A Serious Issue

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that about one in five car wrecks occurs thanks to driver fatigue and tiredness. Too often, these drivers suffer from sleep apnea, which prevents them from attaining the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, when they drive while impaired, these people don’t just risk their own lives; they put others in jeopardy. At the same time, impaired sleep apneics drivers subject themselves to civil lawsuits and guilt related to harming other drivers.

What’s Done Is Done

If you have sleep apnea, you are at a higher risk for health problems and accidents. Countless studies have shown that sleep apnea increases the risk of diabetes, cancer, dementia, heart problems and more. When medical problems and accidents happen, they usually cannot be undone. With that being said, you can prevent heartbreaking tragedies by seeking an effective sleep apnea treatment from a professional who specializes in curing this dangerous disorder.

Contact Dr. Siegel to learn how oral appliance therapy can cure your sleep apnea by providing a clear airway while you sleep. Don’t continue to live with risk; reach out for help today.

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