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I have sleep apnea – can I still get a DOT medical card?

Of all the problems that affect our health, sleep is one of the most misunderstood. What we know is that sleep matters – it is important in promoting healing and giving your brain time to rest. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can negatively affect your mental and physical health, according to the National Institutes of Health. That is one of the reasons there are limits to how much driving you are allowed to do as a commercial driver.

However, there’s a great deal of confusion about the impact of an increasingly common problem affecting sleep these days: sleep apnea.

Medical-Center-Hialeah-300x183 I have sleep apnea – can I still get a DOT medical card?

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep condition that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. In other words, sleep apnea means that you stop breathing multiple times while sleeping. As a result, your body and brain do not get enough oxygen and you wake up feeling unrested. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck (over 17 inches for men and 16 for women)
  • And more.

What is interesting is that neck circumference and age have become shorthand for some DOT medical examiners to commission a sleep study during your physical before issuing your medical card. What does that mean if you’re getting a DOT physical Wellington?

DOT Physical West Palm Beach and Sleep Apnea

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not issued guidance or rules for medical examiners to automatically commission a sleep study in the case of sleep apnea or existence of risk factors for sleep apnea.

Medical examiners, like those doing your DOT Physical in Wellington, may still refer potential drivers to a sleep study if they suspect sleep apnea could be affecting the individual’s health and would prevent them from operating a commercial vehicle safely. Most likely, it will not be based only on neck circumference, but will take into account other risk factors or stated symptoms. After all, it is the medical examiner’s responsibility to ensure that drivers are medically fit.

Remember, during DOT physical in West Palm Beach, our doctors are focused on ensuring patients meet the minimum federal criteria. However, your employer could have more stringent requirements. If you need to get your DOT physical without hassle, come to Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches. We have three locations across the Palm Beach area to make it easy for you to maintain your CDL!

Nausea and the feeling of wanting to vomit are among the most unpleasant sensations our body serves up. You’re not sure how far from the bathroom you should be; all you know is that it hurts. What could it be? Why are you experiencing abdominal pain? There are many chronic and acute causes of stomach pain, in fact. Here are a few acute ones.

Appendicitis

Pain which is sharp and located in the lower right side of your abdomen is usually one of two things: bad gas or appendicitis. The first one passes fairly quickly with a bit of pressing but appendicitis pain may feel as though it’s getting worse. The National Institutes of Health reports that appendicitis, i.e. inflammation of the appendix, is the most common cause of abdominal pain resulting in surgery. If you are between 10 and 30 years old and a male, you’re more prone to it, but appendicitis can strike at any age. That’s why, if you notice this pain or you suspect you might have appendicitis, you should visit our urgent care center Palm Springs immediately. Untreated appendicitis can result in extremely dangerous complications, including a burst appendix and subsequent sepsis.

Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis – or what we usually think of as the stomach flu – is definitely no treat. With symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body aches, you not only need to be near a bathroom, you need to have time to rest. There are a number of viruses which give rise to slightly different symptoms but are all classified as causing viral gastroenteritis. Most of them are spread in situations where there are lots of people in one place – think school – or where you have less than sanitary conditions near your food. To prevent it, ensure that you and those around you are washing your hands frequently and properly, using clean water to cook and avoiding undercooked foods. Unfortunately, there’s not much that doctors can do to treat this malaise, given its viral nature. However, if you have had diarrhea for three days or more, there is blood in your diarrhea or you are experiencing dehydration, it’s best to come to our urgent care center Palm Springs to restore your fluid balance and get back on the road to recovery.

Food poisoning

Viral gastroenteritis and food poisoning have strikingly similar symptoms: nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, among them. The treatment plan is roughly the same, too: Stay near a bathroom and keep drinking fluids until the pain and symptoms subside. Unless you’ve had 3 or more days of diarrhea, a high fever, symptoms of dehydration or blood in your urine, you shouldn’t waste your time at the doctor. However, if you have had any of these symptoms, visit our urgent care center Palm Springs immediately for treatment.

Indigestion and acid reflux

Acid reflux and indigestion are often sparked by similar problems: overeating or the consumption of specific foods, although the source of pain is different. In acid reflux, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) begins to function improperly or doesn’t close tight enough. This allows digestive stomach acid to escape from the stomach up to your esophagus, which gives the burning sensation of heartburn. Indigestion can have many underlying causes, although it is often associated with ulcers and gastritis.

In both cases, over-the-counter treatments are acceptable as a first line of defense; however, if you use antacids for more than 2 weeks (in the case of acid reflux) or you have bloody vomit or trouble swallowing (in the case of indigestion), it is necessary to seek help immediately from urgent care Palm Springs.

Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches - Urgent Care Palm Springs

If you have unexplained stomach pain which doesn’t seem to be going away after a few days, or your symptoms are severe, Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches is here to help. We have three locations and are open 7 days a week so that we are there when you need us and for a more affordable visit than the ER.

Locations

North Palm Beach / Palm Beach Gardens Clinic Location:

11951 US Highway 1 Suite 108,
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 429-6109

West Palm Beach / Palm Beach Clinic Location:

5818 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 429-4779

Palm Springs / Forest Hill Blvd Clinic Location:

3537 Forest Hill Boulevard,
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
(561) 328-8433
© Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches 2022.

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