consequences of driver fatigue

The Deadly Consequence Driver Fatigue

consequences of driver fatigueFairport, Pittsford, Rochester NY

A sleep breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk of chronic health ailments such as cardiac disease, stroke, and anxiety. Did you know that the consequences of sleep apnea also could threaten your life?

Recent data released by the National Highway Safety Administration estimated that 100,000 vehicle accidents per year were the result of drowsy driving. These accidents resulted in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Causes of sleep deprivation include shift work, side effects of certain medications, insomnia, and sleep apnea.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, then feeling fatigued is an inevitable consequence. This is because, in a person with sleep apnea, the airway collapses while you sleep causing a partial or complete blockage of air. Every time one of these blockages occurs, your body and brain react as if it were choking because the air supply is restricted, also disrupting your sleep cycle. These occurrences are referred to as sleep apnea episodes. An advanced case of sleep apnea may result in hundreds of these episodes per hour, so you can imagine how that can hinder your ability to get rest.

An adult needs between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep on a nightly basis to maintain an adequate level of alertness. Not receiving proper rest greatly increases your likelihood of being sleepy behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is not just a risk to your safety; in certain locations, it is even against the law. In 2003, New Jersey passed a state law that criminalized drowsy driving, likening its effects and consequences to that of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You may be completely unaware that you have sleep apnea. In fact, millions of Americans have this sleep breathing disorder, and do not even know it! This means that many are going without treatment – increasing their risk of an accident. Do not let this be you.

If you are constantly feeling drowsy or fatigued, especially if you also snore while asleep, then a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea could be the cause of the problem. A sleep apnea dentist has special, additional training to both diagnose and treat a sleep breathing disorder. Performing an airway evaluation, conducting a sleep study, or a combination of both may be used as a method of diagnosing sleep apnea. And in many cases, the symptoms of sleep apnea can be alleviated through oral appliance therapy, rather than the inconvenience of using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

Oral appliance therapy has made treating sleep apnea easier and more convenient for patients. The oral appliance is custom made for each patient and is even adjustable to suit your changing needs for sleep apnea treatment.

Do you think you or a member of your family has sleep apnea? This issue will not go away, and a case of sleep apnea could prove deadly on the roads. Contact the office of Pittsford Dental Excellence Center today by calling (585) 248-2575 to schedule a consultation.

Pittsford Dental Excellence Center is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Pittsford, Fairport, and Rochester, New York.

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