Chicago sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, cautions about the dangers of untreated obstructive sleep apnea and driving

Sleep Better, Drive Better

Jan 28, 2013, 16:44 ET from

CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Physical wellbeing is not the only thing impaired by disrupted sleep patterns. While we've all experienced a sluggish day after a poor night's sleep, adults with untreated obstructive sleep apnea can jeopardize much more than a productive day at the office. Drowsy, fatigued drivers have reduced reaction times and decision-making skills, posing a significant risk to themselves and others on the road. Dr. Brian Rotskoff of Clarity Allergy Center tests for and treats adult sleep apnea and childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at his three Chicagoland offices.


Dr. Rotskoff specializes in nasal allergies, immunotherapy, asthma, as well as sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment. "Sleep apnea is a breathing issue, first and foremost," explains Dr. Rotskoff. "It is often characterized by snoring and restless sleep patterns, but what really happens during sleep apnea is breathing resistance or pauses in breathing. That resistance shouldn't be ignored." Dr. Rotskoff provides comprehensive screening for children and adults with OSA in Chicago, nocturnal sleep studies, and treatment using the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.

Regardless of age, sleep apnea can be detrimental to a person's physical and emotional health. "Adults have the ability to power through exhaustion better than children, but the toll can be greater," says Dr. Rotskoff. "Sleep apnea sufferers become accustom to their tiredness. They find ways to compensate and often don't recognize how exhausted they really are. Add wintery road conditions to the mix and the potential for danger is very high," says Dr. Rotskoff.

Sleep apnea and driving – Did you know?

  • Sleeping less than six hours a night and/or snoring triples your risk of falling asleep at the wheel and untreated sleep apnea increases that risk seven times, says the National Sleep Foundation
  • Driving drowsy slows reaction time and impairs ability to make sound decisions
  • Driver fatigue causes 100,000 crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Impaired sleep impacts driving performance much the same way as alcohol; combined, exhaustion and alcohol yield dangerous results on the road

Watch for these driving drowsing warning signs:

  • Yawning and head bobbing
  • Blurred vision and trouble focusing
  • Missing exits, daydreaming, and not remembering roads just taken
  • Drifting across lanes or crossing the rumble strip

Sleep disruption has many causes but if you continue to experience restless nights or wake up tired, consider a sleep study. "Many adults put off diagnosis because they're skeptical about the breathing mask or they're just too busy. It's difficult to describe how much better you feel and function after addressing your sleep apnea. The change is remarkable," stresses Dr. Rotskoff who speaks from experience as a recovered sleep apnea sufferer.

Clarity Allergy Center can help with your sleep apnea and other obstructed airway issues. Their three convenient offices are located throughout Chicago and Arlington Heights: 60133, 60159, 60120, 60094, 60056, 60714, 60005. 773-877-3500