November 6 – 12, 2011 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.
The AAA Foundation found that 96% of Americans feel that it is unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open; yet, about one-third of Americans admitted doing so in the past 30 days.
Do you exhibit any of these drowsy warning signs when driving? Dr. Ken Gasper of Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Sprigns may be able to help.
Feeling sleepy? Stop driving if you exhibit these warning signs.
The following warning signs indicate that it’s time to stop driving and find a safe place to pull over and address your condition:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
- Difficulty keeping reveries or daydreams at bay
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating and/or hitting rumble strips
- Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
- Missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly
- Feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive.
You may be suffering from Sleep Apnea.
As we sleep, our muscles are relaxed. When the tongue and throat muscles relax, they can block the airway.
A partial collapse of the airway results in the sound we call snoring. A complete collapse of the airway cuts off breathing and results in an apneic event.
When this happens, you will wake up and begin breathing again because your muscles are no longer relaxed. This may happen as little as five times every hour, or as many as 30 or more times an hour.
We’re proud to offer our patients SomnoDent MAS. For patients diagnosed with OSA, Dr. Gasper may prescribe a custom oral appliance to keep them breathing freely throughout the night. The appliance he prefers is made by SomnoMed, called the SomnoDent MAS. This device positions the jaw forward so the airway stays open while you sleep.