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Is A Sleep Apnea Test Mandatory For A Cdl

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How To Get A Sleep Test For A Truck Driver

Ep.#5 – Sleep Apnea Testing

Sleep Testing CPAP purchase

  • See a Sleep Specialist- A sleep specialist will be able to test you for Sleep Apnea. Be sure to let that Doctor know from the very beginning that you are a truck driver and that you are on a time crunch. In many cases they can help fit you in if their schedule is tight. If they determine that you need a CPAP machine, they will typically be able point you in the right direction on obtaining the CPAP that you need. Sometimes you will need a referral from your primary Doctor to set that up. This process can take some time so make sure that you start early.
  • Ask your DOT clinic for their recommendation for Sleep Testing- Many DOT clinics will at the very least have an option for Sleep testing for you. Most of the time they will point you in a pretty decent direction.
  • Order from an online testing company- There are many different testing companies that will help you get tested for Sleep Apnea. Make sure that the sleep test company you are using works with a Board Certified Sleep Doctor.
  • What Level Of Sleep Apnea Disqualifies A Cdl/cmv Driver

    The disqualifying level of sleep apnea, for most drivers, is moderate to severe, which interferes with safe driving. The medical examiner must qualify and determine a driverâs medical fitness for duty. However, remember that if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can still qualify for âmedically-qualified-to-driveâ status with appropriate treatment.

    Lack Of A New Law On Dot Physical Sleep Apnea Arouses Confusion

    The confusion stems from the fact that government officials cant make up their minds.

    Last year DOT planned to pass a new law on DOT physical sleep apnea that would require sleep apnea testing for drivers. Medical examiners, carrier employers, and drivers hoped that a new law would give the industry more direction, as theres confusion on exactly what is and isnt allowed when it comes to drivers with sleep apnea. However, that law never passed. President Donald Trump reduced regulations across industries once he was elected. As a result, government officials scrapped the proposed law. This change of plans triggered a debate across the trucking industry on whether required testing truck drivers for sleep apnea is good or bad. Some feel that the government should regulate truck drivers with sleep apnea. Others feel it is unnecessary and invasive. No one knows what theyre actually supposed to do about sleep apnea.

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    With No New Dot Physical Sleep Apnea Law What Is The Fmcsa Doing To Promote Safety

    In a 2015 Bulletin on Driver Safety & Health-Medical Requirements, the FMCSA explained that under 49 CFR CFR § 391.41 obstructive sleep apnea is considered a respiratory dysfunction that interferes with oxygen exchange . . . when there is a determination that it is likely to interfere with the drivers ability to operate safely because of the severity of the case.

    The FMCSAs 2015 Bulletin also recommended that if the medical examiner who conducts a truck drivers physical examination for his or her CDL detects a respiratory dysfunction, that in any way is likely to interfere with the drivers ability to safely control and drive a commercial motor vehicle, the driver must be referred to a specialist for further evaluation and therapy.

    However, as the FMCSA acknowledged in a 2016 notice of proposed rule-making, that guidance is not helpful if the ME does not have sufficient experience or information to suspect the driver may have OSA, or the driver does not share with the examiner any previous diagnosis that he has the condition.

    What If I Am Already Driving A Truck And Then Get Diagnosed

    90 day DOT medical card issued/Sleep test required, Need advice please ...

    If you already hold a CDL license and then are diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, your license will be put on hold. Youâll then need to work with your medical examiner to manage your condition. Once your examiner feels that it is under control and they give the go ahead, you can operate with your license again.

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    What Happens To My Cdl If I Have Sleep Apnea

    Nothing! Well, nothing happens so long as you seek appropriate treatment for your sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed and refuse treatment, then you can be denied a CDL by either the medical examiner or your employer.

    However, sleep apnea is an easily treatable condition and many truck and other CDL drivers are able to perform their jobs perfectly regardless of the severity of their sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea and your medical examiner reports that you are managing your condition, then you can regain your current CDL status.

    Sleep apnea has many potential treatments depending on your specific case. Some opt for dental appliances or surgery, but the most common and effective sleep apnea treatment is the nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine or an automatic positive airway pressure machine. Simply wear the mask while you sleep to prevent airway obstruction and start getting deep, restorative sleep so you can be alert and aware on the roads.

    What Is The Final Ruling On Sleep Apnea Testing For The Dot

    In 2016, a federal law was proposed to establish a clear process and criteria for screening OSA among professional drivers, but it was withdrawn in 2017. Since then, no new federal law has been proposed or approved. As it stands in 2022, there is no federal mandate that assesses or regulates sleep apnea risk for CMV drivers or that requires sleep apnea testing for a DOT physical.

    Instead, each state sets their own medical standards for driving a CMV within the state. Since state laws vary, check your state DMV.

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    If I Have Moderate To Severe Sleep Apnea How Can I Prepare For My Dot Medical Exam

    If you have a current sleep apnea diagnosis, make sure you stay compliant with your treatment by meeting the FMCSAs compliance standards. Be sure to print a copy of your CPAP compliance report to bring with you to your exam. If you have more than one machine and mask, youll need to bring a copy of each compliance report.

    The Proposed Final Rule

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Commercial Drivers

    Last year, two of FMCSA’s advisory committees provided recommendations on how medical examiners should assess the severity of a patient’s sleep apnea and the criteria they should use to determine if a driver’s sleep apnea affects their ability to operate a CMV. Below is a list of some of the recommendations:

    • Truck drivers with a BMI of 33 or more who had three other risk factors would have to be screened for sleep apnea. They would receive a 90-day medical certification and would have to participate in a sleep test.
    • Truck drivers with a BMI of 40 or more would also receive the 90-day certification and have to participate in a sleep test.
    • Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

    Other recommendations were related to when medical examiners should disqualify drivers who they deem unfit to drive due to sleep apnea, and sent for a sleep test. Reasons for disqualification included falling asleep behind the wheel, or being involved in a crash due to falling asleep. Drivers would be screened for sleep apnea every two years during their CDL medical exam.

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    Sleep Apnea Testing And Dot Physical Exam Information

    For DOT physical exams, drivers that are currently using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea will need to bring in a printout of their usage for the last 365 days that shows usage compliance greater than 4 hours at least 70% of the time, per night. If you have questions regarding this, please call the office for further instructions.

    If you have been referred to get a sleep apnea test, CNS Occupational Medicine has partnered with HomeSleep, an experienced provider of home sleep testing services, to conveniently and affordably meet the needs of drivers who are required to have sleep testing in order to meet FMCSA guidelines.

    All testing for sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, can be done within the drivers home using best in class portable sleep test monitoring equipment.

    Home sleep study kits will be sent directly to the drivers home and HomeSleep will provide trained and experienced staff for guidance, training and assistance to patients on the use of the HST Kits.

    The completed study will be reviewed by a CNS Occupational Medicine physician who will interpret the results. All results and recommendations will be provided directly to the driver.

    Cost of Test, including interpretation and recommendations: $300

    Does My Insurance Cover This

    Yes, it should cover sleep testing, but there are a few questions you will want to your insurance provider before calling a traditional sleep center:

    • âDo I have a deductible? If yes, how much is it and has it been met this year?â
    • âAfter deductible is met, what is my âCo-insurance?â
    • âHow long does it take to get testing if I use my insurance?â

    We can help you answer these questions so you may choose the best option for you.

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    Can I Lose My Cdl Because Of Sleep Apnea

    That is completely up to you. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea and refuse treatment or refuse to use the treatments given to you, then yes, you can be denied a CDL. However, plenty of truck drivers are able to perform their jobs perfectly even with severe sleep apnea so long as its treated. If you choose not to treat your condition, it is very possible that you will not be cleared by your examiner to resume regular truck driving. If you are diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, and your medical examiner reports that you are managing your condition, you can regain current CDL status and resume driving. Ensuring you are managing your sleep apnea is imperative for your own safety and the safety of those around you.

    Receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis can be challenging for anyone, especially if you fear that it will put your livelihood at risk. But the condition is easily managed by an automatic positive airway pressure machine or a continuous positive airway pressure machine . Simply wear the mask while you sleep to prevent airway obstructions and start getting the healthy, restorative sleep you need to be alert and aware on the roads.

    What Is The Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Top ELD mandate and E

    The severity of obstructive sleep apnea is measured by the Apnea-Hypopnia Index .Your AHI level is obtained during your PSG sleep test.Your AHI level coordinates with your apnea as follows:

    • Mild: 5-15 apnea events per hour of sleep
    • Moderate: 15-30 events per hour of sleep
    • Severe: Over 30 events per hour of sleep

    If you require treatment for OSA, you should be referred to a physician who has expertise in managing OSA.

    There are different potential treatments for sleep apnea depending on the level of severity. Here are some recommendations:

    • Mild to Moderate Sleep Apnea
    • Lose weight
    • Periodic movement or mild exercise
    • Sleep with your upper body elevated
    • Sleep on your side, rather than your back
    • Sufficient sleep time to feel adequately rested
    • Special mouthpiece from a dentist to open your upper airway during sleep
    • Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea
    • Include steps for mild to moderate sleep apnea
    • In most cases your doctor will recommend a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, which assists with inhaling.
    • In more severe cases, a BiPAP machine may be needed, which assists with inhaling and exhaling.
    • Another option is a surgical procedure to remove tissue and widen the airway.

    The following recommendations were made to the FMCSA by the Medical Expert Panel.A driver diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea OSA may be medically certified if:

    • Diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA AND has no daytime sleepiness. Does not need to be treated with CPAP.

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    Can Cdl Drivers Have Sleep Apnea

    Yes all of the above advice applies. You can have sleep apnea, but it just needs to be under control. Should you refuse treatment once OSA has been identified, you will be denied your CDL. Remember that every element of the DOT physical is geared toward ensuring that you and the public are safe. OSA treatments are easy to use and once your OSA is under control, youll not only feel better thanks to better sleep, but you can have a long career.

    How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea

    Many people have S.A. and dont even realize. This is why screening and testing is so important for commercial drivers. There are several symptoms and risk factors you can look out for to determine if you may have sleep apnea. If you notice these, our provider may recommend a home sleep test for diagnosis.

    Also Check: Va Form 21-4138 Sleep Apnea

    Is The Dot Sleep Apnea Policy Adequate To Promote Safety

    Arguably, the FMCSA does not think so. Although the FMCSA has not created any specific DOT sleep apnea regulations or rules, it has expressed its own lack of confidence in its own policy.

    The FMCSA stated in a 2016 notice that the current guidance is not helpful if the ME does not have sufficient experience or information to suspect the driver may have OSA, or the driver does not share with the examiner any previous diagnosis that he has the condition.

    In other words, if the truck driver does not report any symptoms or if no symptoms are detectable by the doctor and/or if the truck driver fails to disclose that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then the condition will undiagnosed and untreated and the truck driver will continue to pose a danger to himself and others.

    Sleep Apnea And A Cdl

    DOT update for drivers with sleep apnea – Watch if you use a CPAP!
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    DR. STROHL: I’m concerned that in some ways, if there was a mandatory reporting, as there are, say, in California, that people with well-treated sleep apnea, without sleepiness, are still being reported because they have a categorical illness rather than a functional impairment.

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    There Is No New Law On Dot Physical Sleep Apnea Yet

    As it stands today, chronic snoring, This type of test is inexpensive, The medical examiner is the one who decides if the driver needs sleep apnea testing, sleep apnea means that you stop breathing multiple times while sleeping, The other clinics charge $1, If diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, the physician determined he needs the test, whether testing for a respiratory disorder like sleep apnea, DOT does require that truck drivers get a medical examination in order to hold a CDL license, to test train operators and commercial drivers for sleep apnea.

    Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

    Symptoms of sleep apnea include trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, drowsiness, and persistent headaches. Drowsy driving slows reaction time, and truck drivers may be at risk considering their vehicle takes more time to stop completely. Therefore, untreated sleep apnea can affect daytime performance and alertness.

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    Why Do People Think There Is A New Dot Physical Sleep Apnea Law

    In 2016, because so many truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, the FMCSA proposed creating a rule that would require truckers with this disorder to get evaluated and undergo treatment with a sleep disorder expert. There is still a widespread belief that the 2016 proposed safety regulation took effect. However, in 2017, the FMSCA reversed course and withdrew its proposed rule regarding the necessity of a DOT physical sleep apnea law to rule out this disorder.

    Sleep Apnea: What Commercial Drivers Need To Know

    Corporate Medical Services

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing or breathe shallowly for seconds or minutes during sleep. These breathing interruptions can occur even up to 400 times or more per night. This can cause symptoms and other serious health conditions, like heart disease, that affect your ability to drive safely. Many commercial drivers may be at risk for having this condition, which can impact your driving and may increase your risk for dangerous accidents. Therefore, many organizations are starting to require screening and testing for their commercial drivers. There are severalthings commercial drivers need to know about sleep apneaand its effects.

    Sleep apnea can lead to drowsy driving, which is a big problem for commercial drivers.

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    So What Is Sleep Apnea And What Does It Mean For Truck Drivers

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep related breathing disorder that keeps the affected person from breathing appropriately during sleep. Because of this, oxygen levels are lowered and the brain has to wake up the body intermittently to get it to start breathing again. As a result of the reduced oxygen levels and interrupted sleep, daytime sleepiness, fatigue and other symptoms occur. People who have sleep apnea may be more likely to fall asleep while sitting stillin other words theyre more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. Obviously, this is extremely dangerous for commercial drivers.

    Because of the dangers related to sleep apnea and driving, in 2016 the Department of Transportation had begun the process of instituting screening requirements specifically related to sleep apnea for those driving commercially. Then, in 2017 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a notice that the rule had been withdrawn. After all that worry, nothing actually resulted.

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