A meeting was held on July 11, 2013 at The Department of Transportation in response to regulations under consideration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Medical Advisory Board for truckers who suffer from sleep apnea and are treated by CPAP machines or surgery. The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (AACP), led by Dr. Elliot Alpher, assembled a group to discuss the viability of a high-tech alternative of compliance chips in oral appliances and home sleep tests. Other attendees included: Marty Russo, Dr. Richard Klein, Dr. Richard Bonato, Mitch Livingston, David Gergen, Elaine Papp, Larry Minor, and Susan Chandler.
Oral Appliances Over CPAP Machines
AACP believes the oral appliances are a viable alternative to the CPAP machine and also reintroduced the concept of home testing. The new technology “DentiTrac” is a micro-recorder which can be used to indicate that truckers are wearing their sleep device in conjunction with home sleep testing. This is believed to be a much easier alternative and more superior to major surgery, or the CPAP machine.
Sleep Apnea as a Sleep Disorder
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing and often shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. These issues are often attributed to weight and may lead to serious health concerns. It is believed that the trucker lifestyle contributes to sleep apnea. The oral appliances would keep the tongue in place so the airway is kept open for easier breathing and better sleeping