Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Traffic Accidents

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With an estimated 25 million adult sufferers, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) impacts a large number of people in the United States. There are many side effects of this disorder which can impact daily life. Aside from not feeling rested after a night’s sleep and serious breathing problems, it was found that sleep apnea also increases risk of traffic accidents.

A study conducted in Sweden and using the Swedish Traffic Accident Registry, found strong evidence that there is a significant risk of traffic accidents is you have OSA but this risk can be decreased with treatment of the sleep apnea. The study of the driving statistics in Sweden revealed an astonishingly high correlation between OSA sufferers and accidents. It was found that sleep apnea patients were almost 2.5 times more likely to driving in a car wreck than people in the general population.

Protect your own health and the lives of others by getting treatment of your OSA with a CPAP machine. Following a prescribed therapy regime, your health and safety risks will be dramatically decreased. It was found OSA sufferers getting CPAP therapy were able to reduce their higher risk of accidents by 70%.

While this study used information from Sweden, the facts are still relevant to drivers in the United States. The AAA Found for Traffic Safety studies information relating to drowsy driving and it was found that over 300,000 accidents were caused by driving while tired. Even more startling was that 6,400 fatal crashes were caused by drowsy driving.

Keep yourself and other drivers safe by treating obstructive sleep apnea if you have it. Unlike many medical concerns, OSA can be corrected. Not only will the proper treatment improve your quality of life, it will also make you a more alert person in high-risk situations such as driving.

If you do not know if you have sleep apnea, one of the biggest signs you have it is feeling drowsy throughout the day and never feeling fully rested, even after an adequate amount of sleep. FusionSleep is happy to assess you for OSA through a sleep analysis. If you believe you have OSA or you are worried about a loved one, schedule an appointment with our sleep doctors today.

--- Reference Karimi M. Sleep. 2015; doi:10.5665/sleep.4486.