If you just got diagnosed with sleep apnea, a condition in which your body doesn’t circulate oxygen well while you sleep, you’re probably looking for the best CPAP mask. You may also have questions about how this diagnosis will affect the rest of your life, including your car insurance rate.
Controlling Your Sleep Apnea
Taking charge of your sleep apnea is critical for maintaining your car insurance rate. Your insurance company can’t automatically raise your premiums once you receive this diagnosis. At the same time, having sleep apnea increases your chances of getting in an accident because you’re more likely to be sleepy on the road. As with all accidents, your premiums will probably go up if you snooze off on the highway and hit another car.
To avoid this scenario, invest in a high-quality sleep apnea machine. If you’ve received any prescriptions, take them exactly as your doctor recommends. Because sleep apnea is linked to weight gain, talk to your doctor about going on a diet and committing to regular exercise.
Other harmful behaviors can worsen or trigger sleep apnea, and it’s essential to avoid them if you want to drive. Smoking weakens your lungs, which are already struggling when you have sleep apnea. Similarly, drinking alcohol can help you relax, but it also tranquilizes the muscles responsible for breathing, making it harder for your CPAP machine to work.
Feeling Confident Behind the Wheel
If your doctor is seriously concerned about your ability to stay awake, he or she may ask the Department of Motor Vehicles to restrict the hours when you can drive. Usually, these restrictions are temporary, and they’re safety regulations, not punishments.
Even if you don’t have any restrictions, it can take a while to feel confident on the road, especially if you’re fatigued. When possible, ask friends or family members to accompany you so that they can talk to you and remind you to take deep breaths when you get tired. Don’t overdo it with caffeine, but pack plenty of water to keep your body alert. During long trips on the highway, take frequent breaks to walk around, stretch, or go to the bathroom.
Maintaining your health also boosts your confidence. Look at CPAP mask reviews to ensure you’re using the best equipment, and ask your doctor to recommend a therapist to help you work through your fears.
Working With Your Insurance Company
If you do fall asleep and get in an accident, work with your insurance agents as they determine fault. Be honest about what happened, and accept the accident’s effects on your premiums and driving record. Ask your insurance agent whether you can take a driving improvement program or ask for a reduction in premiums once your symptoms improve.
Getting a sleep apnea diagnosis affects all aspects of your life, including your driving. To avoid falling asleep on the road and having your car insurance premiums go up, make sure you have a high-quality CPAP mask.