Dr. Dean M. Zusmer
Dr. Dean M. Zusmer
Dr. Dean M. Zusmer is a Miami Beach Native, Florida Licensed Chiropractic Physician. https://www.drdeanmiami.com/
Read 4 minutes

Can a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis in a DOT Medical Exam Lead to Cancellation of Your CDL?

Image for post

Why are commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers becoming increasingly concerned about a sleep apnea diagnosis during a Miami DOT medical exam? What exactly is sleep apnea? Does it really impact a Department of Transport (DOT) medical exam? Let's find out.

Does Sleep Apnea Interfere with Healthy Sleep?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition that can potentially be life-threatening. This is because the condition causes your breathing to pause for a few seconds during sleep.

How is this bad?

To remain in deep sleep your body needs proper uninterrupted air supply so that there are no pauses in your breathing pattern. When your breathing cycle is interrupted due of lack of air, your body begins to fight to breathe. This disrupts your body's respiratory efforts at the time you are sleeping and causes your sleep to be disturbed and unhealthy.

This sleeplessness can lead to fatigue, daytime sleepiness, drowsiness, and also prevent you from carrying out your daily activities as well as keep you from doing your trucking job efficiently. Since your body is stressed and devoid of healthy sleep, over time the risk of medical conditions such as stroke, heart failure, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer, also increases.

While it is true that a majority of people with sleep apnea snore, what is not true is that snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. A lot many times sleep apnea can remain undiagnosed and so untreated. And drivers who have sleep apnea that is undiagnosed and untreated not only endanger their own lives but also the lives of people on the road.

Is the Sleep Apnea Test a Part of DOT?

Even though the DOT does not make it compulsory for every driver to have a sleep apnea screening, it does require drivers to take a DOT exam. Certified medical practitioners carry out the DOT physical of drivers. The exam is taken by commercial drivers so they can receive and maintain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). During the DOT exam if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will need to undergo treatment to clear the physical and procure your CDL.

Can You Lose Your CDL Due to Sleep Apnea?

Refusing treatment can lead to you being denied a CDL. Without a CDL you will not be allowed to return to your trucking job. Records reveal that many drivers who once suffered from severe sleep apnea were able to return to work and perform well, but only after receiving complete treatment.

The fear of losing your livelihood due to sleep apnea is a risk. If you do receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, get immediate medical help so you can start your treatment on time and get back to doing your job.

The following commercial drivers are required to clear a DOT physical:

• Drivers who operate vehicles interstate that are over 10,000 pounds.

• Those drivers who drive more than 15 people in a single vehicle.

• Paid drivers who drive more than 8 people in their vehicle.

• Those who transport hazardous materials in their vehicle.

What Factors Determine you need to take a Sleep Apnea Test?

Medical examiners look for anything such as deformities or any such medical condition that is interfering with your breathing or swallowing. It is such obstructions or conditions that put you at risk of sleep apnea and you could be asked to take a sleep apnea test.

Some of the risk factors that increase your chances of being diagnosed with sleep apnea include:

• Age

• Hypertension

• Receding chin

• BMI (>40)

• Neck circumference

• Smoking habits

• Gender

• Diabetes

Some of the findings that can disqualify you as a driver include:

• Excessive daytime sleepiness

• Falling asleep behind the wheel or while on the road

• Been involved in a crash due to drowsy driving or sleepiness

• Have not been following the treatment plan after diagnosis of sleep apnea

Miami Accident Center Can Help You

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers who want to get a DOT physical to visit only certified medical examiners (CMEs). Those without an FMCSA certification cannot carry out the DOT exam.

During the test, if risk factors point to a possible sleep apnea problem, your CME would ask you to get a sleep test done. But being diagnosed with sleep apnea does not mean you will lose your trucking job. To retain your job you will have to undergo treatment for your sleep apnea, until you are deemed fit to return to operating vehicles interstate.

For a Miami DOT medical examyou can schedule an appointment in our chiropractic clinic. We have experts who will help you with your DOT physical requirements and paperwork.

Our certified medical examiners in our Miami chiropractic clinic have all passed the FMCSA’s certification exam and are fully qualified to carry out DOT physical exams. To learn more you can visit https://www.drdeanmiami.com/cdl-dot-physical-exam/miami/ or call 305-389-9040 for scheduling a consultation.

Dr. Dean M. Zusmer
Dr. Dean M. Zusmer is a Miami Beach Native, Florida Licensed Chiropractic Physician. https://www.drdeanmiami.com/