The negative effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are all encompassing. One of the first signs that you may be suffering from OSA is immediately noticed. Instead of feeling refreshed in the morning and motivated to take on the challenges of a new day, you may feel groggy and irritable. Over the space of a few short weeks, this restlessness and chronic fatigue may graduate into a new state of being: depression may rear it’s ugly face and bring with it an inability to stay focused, a general loss of initiative and motivation.
Your body will make it known that something is amiss by treating you to persistent migraines. You may gain weight. Your blood pressure may rise; over time you may see a high risk for heart problems. Gastroesphageal reflux disease and hypothyroidism are also associated with OSA and other long-term health risks including kidney failure, type two diabetes and an increased risk for cancer.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Driving?
OSA can be severe and life threatening. In fact, studies have shown that the decrease in the typical OSA lifespan is bout 20 years. The physical maladies associated with OSA have a simple way to cross over from your body to threaten the safety of society at large: AAA reports that each year, an estimated 100,00 police reported accidents are the direct result of driver fatigue. Some studies have found that people’s cognitive psychomotor abilities to be as impaired after 24 hours without sleep as with a BAC of 0.10% which is higher than the legal limit for DWI conviction in all US States.
What Are The Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving?
Some warnings signs you may experience that signify drowsiness while driving are:
- The inability to recall the last few miles traveled
- Having disconnected or wandering thoughts
- Having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open
- Feeling as though your head is very heavy
- Drifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on the rumble strips
- Yawning repeatedly
- Accidentally tailgating other vehicles
- Missing traffic signs