Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), Driving and the DVLA Update
Since the introduction of the EU Directive on Obstructive Sleep Aponea (OSA) in January 2016, there has been some confusion over the advice being given to those diagnosed with the condition. The OSA Alliance, which is made up of medical experts in OSA and patient groups, has been discussions with the DVLA with the objective of simplifying the EU guidelines and it is anticipated that revised guidelines will be issued before the end of the year.
In the meantime, the guidance for those diagnosed with OSA is as follows:
If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), i.e. no daytime sleepiness sufficient to impair driving, you can continue to drive and do not need to inform the DVLA.
However if you have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS), you should tell the DVLA. OSAS is the more severe form of OSA where there is evidence of symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness.
If you are diagnosed with OSAS, you must advise the DVLA. We suggest that you do this by letter rather than by contacting the DVLA helpline or using email. However it is important that you stop driving completely until your condition has been successfully treated.
If you have any doubts, we suggest that you speak to your sleep consultant who will advise you.
We are hoping for further updates on the guidance for OSA sufferers and will update in due course.
If you drive for a living, you might be interested in Professor John Stradling’s article which appear in the Guardian earlier in 2017.