CPAP While Driving

Topic 25405 | Page 2

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Susan D. 's Comment
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As a registered respiratory therapist, I can assure you a doctor's prescription is required. Those teams no doubt have a physician on their payroll who plays the use. Of course that wouldn't stop anyone from obtaining it for industrial use, which anyone could do. Unnecessary use of oxygen is not a safe thing to do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
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If you're having issues oxygenating while awake (low O2 Saturation), that's not OSA but COPD - totally different disease, diagnosis and treatment - and would DQ you from driving.

If you're trying to "game the system" by logging compliance hours while awake - you're losing out on the very reason WHY CPAP's are used to mitigate the symptoms of OSA. Which is to maintain positive pressure on your airways while sleeping, so you don't stop breathing while you're asleep.

Also - having a CPAP mask on while driving, would qualify as "distracted driving". Try rolling a weigh station with a CPAP mask on, and see what happens.

Not sure what you seek to accomplish here. OSA stands for Obstructive SLEEP Apnea - you are not going to be symptomatic while AWAKE, so there is ZERO BENEFIT to using a mask while driving.

As we have discussed in other threads - you need to GET AND MAINTAIN COMPLIANCE in order to not be medically DQ'd. If obesity is the main cause of your OSA, then losing significant weight may relieve the symptoms to the point where you can pass a sleep study and get off the machine.

GO HOME - GET USED TO THE CPAP - GET INTO COMPLIANCE - GET BACK ON THE ROAD. Or, sadly - find a new field of employment.

Rick

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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- GET USED TO THE CPAP - GET INTO COMPLIANCE - GET BACK ON THE ROAD. Or, sadly - find a new field of employment.

Unfortunately, that is the answer. I hate mine, but force myself to use it the required minimum.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Rick, thanks for the feedback. But please cut me a little slack because I’m not trying to game the system here or find a way to cheat, just trying to understand a serious issue that I had not needed to give much thought to until the past two weeks.

And I was just curious about the oxygen because I listened to a health podcast about the medical field using oxygen therapy in various ways.

So, I have enlisted my doctor and a nutritionist to help me solve my issue by getting my weight down. I’m 5’11” and at my DOT physical three weeks ago I weighed in at 238, BMI was 35. During the past two weeks I have dropped 5 pounds on my new diet. Dr. wants me to get down below 210 for sure or even less. The criteria for sleep apnea danger is also neck size over 17”. My neck measures 17.25, so my weight loss should get me below the 17”, I hope. Over the last two weeks, my BP has fallen to an average of 135/85, which is a big improvement but still needs work.

I have also noticed a marked improvement in energy levels, have eliminated starches and most sugar and now drink only water and a lot more of it.

My goal is to get to where my doctor and nutrition guy think I can go in for another sleep study and hopefully test negative. In the meantime, the company is giving me time and help to get compliant with the machine.

So I’m on a good path and plan to continue driving for quite some time into the future. And I also hope what I learn from my experience will allow me to help others who either face the same issue or who just want to improve their overall health.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Bruce, try to get some good exercise during the day if you get the chance. Work your way up from walks to running. Walking uphill is kind of the holy grail of beginner's exercise. Just don't kid yourself like a lot of people do and convince yourself that all movement is exercise. In my book, walking on flat ground isn't exercise but it's better than not moving at all. Walking in hilly terrain certainly is exercise. Anything that gets your heart rate up is helpful. I've heard people say, "I park in the back of the lot so I have to walk farther to the truck stop." All that's doing is making you breathe more fumes. Get real exercise.

Also, eating makes everyone sleepy. Try to save your calories for the hour or two before bedtime. I'm always trying to keep my weight down for climbing. When I have to lose a few pounds I eat a lot less, but I've learned to eat just before bedtime or I won't sleep well at all. I'll stare at the ceiling. I've heard people say that when you're trying to lose weight you shouldn't eat before bed. Baloney! You won't sleep if you go to bed on an empty stomach. The best times to eat are when you first wake up because your body needs it, immediately after exercise because your body needs it, and immediately before bed because your body will want to sleep to allow you to digest it.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Brett. The exercise part of the equation is something I neglected to mention but you covered it.

Another thing I forgot to mention is about water. My nutrition guy who practices what he preaches is recommending that I drink AT LEAST 64 oz. of water during the day and since I have to get up once every night, to have water handy because water consumption is more effective when your digestion system is not working real hard. Also, I’ve switched to carbonated water because people who have become accustomed to soda do better because part of what a lot of people miss is the carbonation. These are just some small tips I’m picking up for myself and I’ll keep posting things I learn in case anybody else is interested. Stay safe and be healthy!

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