Blogs > Sleeping with CPAP

Assistant News Editor Lee Dryden was diagnosed with sleep apnea and uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist with breathing while sleeping. From a layman’s point of view, he will discuss the benefits, issues, challenges and frustrations of sleeping while wearing a mask.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Apnea testing for pilots, air traffic controllers

   Getting tested for sleep apnea is a choice for most people - one that too many people decide not to make.
   Ignoring the symptoms is not an option for overweight pilots and air traffic controllers as the Federal Aviation Administration is requiring testing for them, CNN reports.
   This was prompted by reports of pilots or controllers falling asleep or being too tired on the job - a recipe for disaster when they are holding many lives in their hands. A pilot who fell asleep on a 2008 commercial flight in Hawaii - and missed the destination - was eventually diagnosed with sleep apnea.
   Body mass index will be checked during exams which will determine who will undergo apnea testing.
   To review, apnea interrupts breathing during sleep, which causes the sufferer to wake up dozens of times throughout the night. This results in being less than alert the next day. Many with sleep apnea are overweight with thick necks that obstruct normal breathing.
   Required testing for overweight pilots and controllers is obviously long overdue.
   Hopefully others who have symptoms - and pilot vehicles on the ground rather than planes - get tested and treated before making a sleepy mistake that harms themselves or others.