It’s OK to Drive if You have Sleep Apnoea, Chest Doctors Say

DrivingThe American Thoracic Society, an organization made up of pulmonary doctors, now say that people who have sleep apnoea should not be stopped from driving just because they have sleep apnoea. The reason is that these people should not be prejudiced according to their medical condition, because some of these people are not that sleepy and are even more awake than the general population. However, these medical experts say that those patients with sleep apnoea who recently had a car crash or a near miss accident or those who are excessively sleepy during the day should be warned about the risks of drowsy driving. These people should instead undergo treatment for sleep apnoea.

The guidelines created by the American Thoracic Society (ATS), which are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine recommend that sleep apnoea patients should not use stimulants while driving to reduce the risks of crashing. These guidelines target millions of people with sleep apnoea not only in the US but also worldwide. People with sleep apnoea experience numerous pauses in breathing that can last for many seconds. These breathing pauses which happen at night can lead to increased daytime sleepiness and deadly illnesses.

The ATS is concerned that imposing driving restrictions on people with sleep apnoea could backfire. Indeed, it is not proper to totally prohibit people with sleep apnoea from driving. Sleep apnoea, just like any other illness, is treatable and controllable. Patients with sleep apnoea should be treated according to proper treatment protocols and not based on unapproved therapeutic claims of products.

Once sleep apnoea is treated, driving performance will improve. Thus it is wrong to prohibit people with this medical condition from driving. Doctors play a major role in choosing which sleep apnoea patients they will monitor for vehicle related accidents. If these doctors find out that a patient has a high risk for drowsy driving, they should warn the patient about the hazards of driving while sleepy and have them tested and treated as soon as possible.

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Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.