We recently discussed how CPAP is proving to be a difficult method of treatment for sleep apnea for those with PTSD, and truck drivers have been also finding issues with CPAP. The federal government has been increasing screenings for sleep apnea among truckers. While this is not necessary a bad idea, there has been some level of resistance from the truckers who find the machines are actually doing more harm than good.
The Issue at Hand
Truckers are finding that CPAP machines used to treat sleep apnea are too uncomfortable and may actually lead to more truck driver sleepiness on the road. The trucking companies are also getting hurt in their pocket book, with screening for sleep apnea costing about $3,000 per test.
While there has been some level of push back to the CPAP machines there is a way to treat sleep apnea without using the cumbersome CPAP machines: oral appliances. Oral appliances work by repositioning the jaw so that your jaw and tongue are pulled forward and do not obstruct your airway while you sleep. The DentiTrac oral appliance compliance system has just been approved by the FDA and is a great option in this situation where truckers are required to use treatment for sleep apnea according to federal orders.
Unfortunately, current rules do not allow the use of oral appliances—they require CPAP largely because the machines can be used to monitor usage.
Whether you chose an oral appliance or CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, it is important that you are seeking some kind of treatment. Sleep apnea not only causes higher incidence of workplace injury but could ultimately cause death if left untreated. It is important to speak to a licensed sleep dentist in order to find a treatment plan that is right for you. If you have any questions about sleep apnea or oral appliances please call The TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center in Denver, Colorado at (303) 691-0267 and set up an appointment today.