Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition where your breathing is frequently interrupted during the night. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which inadvertently increases their risks for other major health issues like diabetes and kidney disease. As if the health risk isn’t challenging enough, sleep apnea can also impact your career. If you’re a truck driver with a Commercial Driver’s License, having untreated sleep apnea could cost you your job.

Micro-Arousals and Sleep Deprivation

In order to restore breathing, sleep apnea causes small periods of wakefulness, or micro-arousals, which occur hundreds of times every night. These frequent wakings result in excessive sleepiness during the day, and over time, can lead to mood changes and concentration difficulties. Increased drowsiness may also decrease your responsiveness to danger. In a study of professional football players, those athletes who were suffering from sleep apnea had much lower reaction times. The combination of these changes may explain why having sleep apnea doubles your risk of being in an automobile accident. For truck drivers delivering their goods in an eighty-thousand pound vehicle, any risk that might cause a fatal accident must be avoided.

Your Licensing and Sleep Apnea

As part of your initial licensing and yearly renewal, you’re required to undergo a health physical to obtain a commercial driver’s license. During your assessment, you’ll be asked a series of questions. These questions range from topics such as weight, age, smoking status and alcohol consumption. They may also inquire about family history such as cardiovascular or respiratory issues, which will alert your screeners to potential risks associated with sleep apnea. Depending on your answers, you may be required to have a sleep study performed to evaluate whether or not you should be clinically diagnosed with the condition. If you are diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, you will not be permitted a license unless you’re being effectively treated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy.

Once you’ve been diagnosed and have acquired a CPAP machine and sleep apnea mask, you’ll be given a one month conditional CDL permit. After that month, you will be required to provide documentation that you are continuing your CPAP therapy and that you maintain compliance in your treatment. If after three months you continue to be compliant with therapy, you will be granted a one year commercial driver’s license.

Purchase a Quality Sleep Apnea Management System

Your career is important. Protect yourself by ensuring that you’re properly treating your sleep apnea with a CPAP system that’s appropriate and comfortable for you. is a sleep apnea supply company that works hard to provide quality and cost-effective CPAP system supplies. There you’ll be sure to find a CPAP mask style as well as accessories to make managing your sleep apnea more easy. Don’t delay treating your sleep apnea; with, you’ll be back on the road faster.