Doctors see connection between sleep apnea and poor driving

  • Last updated Mar 22, 2017 at 9:22PM | Published on Apr 16, 2013
  • Richard Reich
sleep apnea risks

Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition among older Americans, characterized by breathing pauses during a night’s rest. While medical experts have long associated this disorder with fatigue and muscle weakness during daylight hours, a new study has pointed out a potentially dangerous effect of sleep apnea: a higher risk of dozing off while behind the wheel of a car.

This connection, noted in a study conducted by the University Hospital in Leeds, England, is particularly troubling because some sufferers aren’t actually aware of their sleep apnea. In many cases, daily fatigue is written off as an effect of another problem like the common cold. Yet the scientists associated with the project, including Dr. Mark Elliott, suggested that folks stricken by these symptoms – especially a feeling of tiredness while driving – may want to consult their medical provider as soon as possible.

“Driving simulators can be a good way of checking the effects that a condition like sleep apnea can have on driving ability,” Elliott, who spearheaded the investigation, said in a statement. “Our research suggests that people with the condition are more likely to fail the test.”

Of the over 200 individuals who took part in the English study, those with undiagnosed sleep apnea were twice as likely to fail a driving test. Additionally, those who performed poorly had greater difficulty keeping the car under control and within the safety lanes, WebMD reported.

This study demonstrates the fact that undiagnosed conditions like sleep apnea can have an adverse impact on a person’s life or contribute to the risk of being involved in an accident. As such, every individual should consider forms of financial security like life insurance policies to prepare for the worst. To learn more about online life insurance quotes, visit today.

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