A Cocktail of Sleepiness and Driving – the OSA Saga

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The numbers of vehicles have crossed over 5 Lakhs in many urban centers of India. This means that there is a lot of traffic on road at any given time. It also means that there are more drivers falling asleep on the wheels of their car – either due to exhaustion or a medical condition. One such condition could be OSA (Obsessive Sleep Apnea), a condition where a patient stops breathing for small periods of time!

DNA-Sleep Apnoea- Dr Amit Panjwani

Cases like these are not very uncommon among medical practitioners. This should make us all the more aware of the dangers that one puts himself into and also the risk that is posed to others. Snoring when sleeping, disturbed night of sleep, changing positions when sleeping, being forgetful, late are all indicators that one can be suffering from OSA.

OSA, can strike at any time. It happens because of an obstruction to the flow of air in the airways, especially in the upper part near the throat area. It can occur at any age, including children, albeit it is more common in middle aged obese or overweight men. Studies have shown the prevalence of it being around 10-12% of the population.

The risk of driving with OSA increases the possibility of a car crash by as many as 12 times. To avoid such instances from happening, it is suggested that one visit their doctors.  With improved medication & treatment techniques, this can easily be treated by qualified practitioners. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is one of the most effective treatment options for OSA, which involves a mask when the patient sleeps. Early diagnosis prevents any long term complications, reducing chances of fatality.

Proper treatment not only improves driver performance, but also makes a person alert & active. This is for the good!


5 thoughts on “A Cocktail of Sleepiness and Driving – the OSA Saga

    Anonymous said:
    October 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    This has happened to one friend. It is difficult to drive if you feel sleepy. Best is to park the care to the side of the road and take a power nap

      ignite2communicate responded:
      October 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      It is always better to take evasive action. It not only is a safer option, but it also saves other’s lives as well.

    Suuhail R. said:
    October 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Truck drivers should take care of this problem. On the highways you often see trucks broken apart from huge crashes, Most of them happening due to poor reflex actions!

    Anonymous said:
    November 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    With so many lifestyle related problems arising, someone needs to make people aware of these dangers – may be the Healthcare Ministry or Hospitals could start a Prevent Lifestyle Disorders Day and list down all such disorders.

      ignite2communicate responded:
      November 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Will definitely try to communicate your thoughts to corporate hospitals with the funds to make it happen & have it communicate to the masses. It is never too late to start

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