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FMCSA, FRA will conduct sessions on sleep apnea

May 4, 2016
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host three public listening sessions to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals in highway and rail transportation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host three public listening sessions to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety-sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation.

Sessions will focus on potential consequences for safety of rail and highway transportation, and potential costs and benefits from regulatory actions that address safety risks associated with motor carrier and rail transportation workers in safety-sensitive positions who have OSA.

These listening sessions are intended to provide interested parties with an opportunity to share their views on this topic with representatives of both agencies, along with any data or analysis they may have.

The Huffington Post website contains a blog on sleep apnea by Kathleen Bennett, president of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. She addresses telling signs of sleep apnea as well as steps to its treatment. According to her blog:

If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, the first step is to set-up an appointment with a sleep specialist for diagnosis. Your doctor will schedule you for a sleep study or a home sleep apnea test. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your doctor will present you with treatment options, including continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) and oral appliance therapy. CPAP involves wearing a face mask connected to a machine that runs throughout the night. However, some find the mask hard to adjust to or uncomfortable to wear throughout the night.

If you are in need of a different treatment option, ask your doctor about an oral appliance. An oral appliance is a mouth guard-like device that is custom-made by a dentist and is quiet, portable and easy to care for. The device supports your jaw in a forward position, helping to maintain an open airway. The AADSM, a non-profit group of dentists knowledgeable in dental sleep medicine, recommends oral appliance therapy as an effective, alternative treatment to CPAP.

If you opt for oral appliance therapy, make sure you find a dentist in your area who is knowledgeable about dental sleep medicine and is skilled in custom-fitting an oral appliance. You can find an AADSM member dentist in your area at www.LocalSleepDentist.com.

The OSA public listening sessions will take place in:

•Washington DC, May 12, 2016, at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th Street NW

•Chicago IL, May 17, 2016, at the Marriott Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North, 30 East Hubbard Street

•Los Angeles CA, May 25, 2016, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 404 South Figueroa Street

All sessions will run from 10 am to noon and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm local time. If all interested parties have had the opportunity to comment, the sessions may conclude early.

Go to www.FMCSA.dot.gov for further details.

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