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Could Your Sleep Apnea Cause an On-the-Job Injury?

sleep apnea can impact work injuriesA 2015 study out of the University of British Columbia found a correlation between on-the-job injuries and those who have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a pretty common disorder where a person has one or more pauses in breathing while sleeping. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. The most common sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, where the airway collapses or becomes blocked while you sleep. For more on sleep apnea, check out the National Institutes of Health.

In the particular study mentioned above, it found that people with obstructive sleep apnea were nearly twice as likely to sustain a workplace injury as employees who did not have sleep apnea according to MedPage Today. The study found that those with sleep apnea were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a workplace injury related to reduced attentiveness, such as falls or motor vehicle accidents.

This isn’t really all that surprising when you think about it. Sleep apnea affects the amount of sleep you get. The less sleep you receive the less alert you are during the day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults (ages 26-64) get around 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

We recommend that you speak with your health care provider if you believe you suffer from sleep apnea. Tests can be conducted to see if you suffer from it. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings with shortness of breath
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Attention problems
  • Irritability

Certain devices may help your sleep apnea including a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), BiPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure), VPAP (variable positive airway pressure), and more. This is something to discuss with your doctor who would be able to prescribe such a device.

The Team at McDivitt wants everyone to be aware of their health in order to help prevent on-the-job injuries. However, if you have been hurt on the job, you may need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you through your workers’ compensation claim. Contact McDivitt today if that is the case.

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