Keywords: Obstructive sleep apnea, apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), oral appliances, CPAP, CPAP alternative, oral appliance therapy, motor vehicle collisions, and fatigue.
A recent review by a university in Brazil aimed to link driver fatigue and motor vehicle collisions as a direct result of sleep disorders, mainly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Studies have shown that an excessive workload and a lack of rest can have a great impact on a driver’s ability to function properly while operating a motor vehicle. A number of strategies have been used to prevent fatigue caused by obstructive sleep apnea including the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Dr. Farrell, a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and board certified with the American Board of Orofacial Pain, has extensive training in treating sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. AZ TMJ offers one of the leading alternatives for the CPAP, which is an oral appliance that can be used in conjunction with a CPAP or as a stand-alone oral appliance depending on the severity of the individual’s OSA. If you think you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, call Dr. Farrell at 480-945-3629 to set your consultation and visit AZ TMJ at www.headpaininstitute.com.
de Mello MT, Narciso FV, Tufik S, Paiva T, Spence DW, Bahammam AS, Verster JC, Pandi-Perumal SR.
Studies have shown that a large proportion of traffic accidents around the world are related to inadequate or disordered sleep. Recent surveys have linked driver fatigue to 16% to 20% of serious highway accidents in the UK, Australia, and Brazil. Fatigue as a result of sleep disorders (especially obstructive sleep apnea), excessive workload and lack of physical and mental rest, have been shown to be major contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents. A number of behavioral, physiological, and psychometric tests are being used increasingly to evaluate the impact of fatigue on driver performance. These include the oculography, polysomnography, actigraphy, the maintenance of wakefulness test, and others. Various strategies have been proposed for preventing or reducing the impact of fatigue on motor vehicle accidents. These have included: Educational programs emphasizing the importance of restorative sleep and the need for drivers to recognize the presence of fatigue symptoms, and to determine when to stop to sleep; The use of exercise to increase alertness and to promote restorative sleep; The use of substances or drugs to promote sleep or alertness (i.e. caffeine, modafinil, melatonin and others), as well as specific sleep disorders treatment; The use of CPAP therapy for reducing excessive sleepiness among drivers who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. The evidence cited in this review justifies the call for all efforts to be undertaken that may increase awareness of inadequate sleep as a cause of traffic accidents. It is strongly recommended that, for the purpose of promoting highway safety and saving lives, all disorders that cause excessive sleepiness should be investigated and monitored.