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Dear all,

Sorry if I am posting this in wrong place..

I am a new member to this forum. I am 35 years old and I have been recently diagnosed moderate to severe OSA and since then I have been trying to find more information on this and how to deal with this. This brought to me to this great cite with wealth of information on this.

Just a little information about my situation. I have been having lot of problems with Sleep, snoring for a while and once, while I was away for a vacation in India, I saw an ENT Surgeon who recommended surgery as I have some problems in my nose or something. Recently mentioned this to my GP and he referred to me for sleep study. I took the machine for overnight study and 2 months after (yesterday), I got a letter from my consultant (whom I haven't seen yet), mentioning that my sleep study indicated features suggestive of a severe OSA. 

He mentioned that a respiratory technician will contact me in due course to organise the use of CPAP machine and he will (Consultant ENT Surgeon) will also give me an appointment to assess the situation to check anatomical contribution to this problem. 

He also mentioned that "It was not clear from your referral whether you have a significant degree to issues with sleepiness whilst driving but of course the diagnosis of this stage of severe OSA and daytime sleepiness does go with it concern regarding driving safety. In these circumstances, the DVLA need t be informed of the diagnosis and the management options so far that have been put into place. "

I am an occasional driver (only weekends for now) and I got my licenses  in last January after spending lot of money for classes and working really hard (I never used to like driving but now I kinda started enjoying it). I went for this study because of my concern over safety and I won't be driving now until my situation with DVLA is clear.

When I researched online, people tend to advice to contact DVLA once the treatment is started so that they are less likely to revoke the license. I am wondering whether I should wait till I receive my CPAP devise and/or my consultant appointment to inform DVLA? At the moment, I only finished my sleep study and I haven't seen by anyone to discuss this (except this letter).

Any advices are much appreciated..

Many Thanks,

George

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Dear All, I am new to this forum - in fact the ONLY forum I have ever replied to - you must be doing something right. Well done Kath. The DVLA - it's not good. My Lung Clinic consultant told me to inform the DVLA when I was diagnosed with mild OSA and wrote a supporting letter for me. I phoned the DVLA and they revoked my licence from 20/05/17, letter only dated 18/05/17. They then sent me a letter with zillions of forms for completion, including one for my consultant. I filled them out and sent off my licence application thinking there would not be any problems. I phoned the DVLA last month to get an idea of whether they had received said application and how long it would take for my licence to be re-issued. They said they had sent a questionnaire to my consultant for further information. I waited 2 weeks and phoned them again, today, for an update. It turns out, someone completely misspelled the consultant's name so it has disappeared! They then said they would fax it to my consultant if I could find a fax number - I quoted the fax number stated on my clinic letter - she was surprised that I had it to hand. I told her that I take copies of all official documentation when required. She assures me that they will fax the request for information to the consultant this afternoon. Don't hold your breath (bad joke, I know) I will update you all in the hopefully not too distant future. Keep up the good work.

Suzee

ps The CPAP treatment is marvellous for me - it's really working but I now have a scabby bridge sore which is starting to heal with mask liners and cream

Yes, the bridge of the nose can take a bit of a bashing, usually due to the mask being to tight.

However, I was the same until I changed from a face mask to Nasal Pillows,

Funny thing is that all the running up and down with a cut in the bridge of my nose to the Sleep Clinic, I would have thought that someone would have commented on it, but no!

I just couldn't get a mask to seal around the eyes no matter what I tried, I now have a permanent bump where the cut was on the bridge of my nose, there has been more comments about it now than there was then

This is out of step!

Sorry I missed your comment Suzee, and am sorry to hear you've had this hassle with the DVLA.  I hope by now you've heard something.

Glad to hear the mask liners are helping.  Occasionally people need the Liquicell cushions as well as the mask liners http://www.hope2sleep.co.uk/liquicell-nasal-cpap-cushions.html and unfortunately I'm one of those people if I use a 'traditional' style of mask.  However, I stay away from masks that no near my nasal bridge for that reason.

Dear all,

Thanks for being so supportive.

Just to update you, I have had my CPAP clinic appointment this week and given a Dreamstation CPAP machine with mask covering nose and mouth. I am still getting used to sleeping with the mask and wake up during night with air leaking to my eyes. I also do not want to keep it tight as I fear it will leave a mark on my face. I have a follow up appointment in few weeks where I will discuss these concerns. I am also waiting for my ENT appointment in January.

Now that I have started my CPAP treatment, my technician asked me to inform DVLA to comply with their instructions. In many online pages, I was warned not to email or phone or fill in online form but post a letter. Any advices on this? Should I just inform in a letter or fill in SL1 form with the help of my CPAP clinic (I may take it with me for my next appointment)?

Any advices on this is much appreciated.

Thanks,

George

You're welcome George, and shocked at the 26 weeks to wait, but good to know you're at least going to be eventually sorted out.  Keep us posted how things go.

Dear Kath (or anyone),

Do you have any comment or recommendation about how to inform DVLA? As I mentioned in the previous message, In many online pages, I was warned not to email or phone or fill in online form but post a letter. Any advices on this? Should I just inform in a letter or fill in SL1 form with the help of my CPAP clinic (I may take it with me for my next appointment)?

Thanks,

George

I George.  I can only tell you what I did....I immediately stopped driving (on advice of the sleep clinic and because I'd never have lived with myself if I'd caused an accident - my own Grandma was killed by a driver that shouldn't have been on the road, so I never take chances).  When I was on good CPAP therapy, I filled in the SL1 form to tell the DVLA I was diagnosed and treated with sleep apnoea.  They then contacted the sleep clinic who  confirmed my therapy was good, and DVLA contacted me to say I had been approved to drive, subject to good therapy.  If I ever have an occasional bad night I do not take the car out.  The highway code itself states that nobody should drive when feeling tired.  Your clinic sound like they are helping you the best they can.  Things have changed since I was diagnosed and we hear good and bad stories regarding the DVLA (depends on who people speak to when ringing).  I wouldn't ring, I would download the Sl1 form https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sl1-confidential-medical... and fill it in with the help of your sleep clinic so there are no mistakes.

Hi all,

I thought to update you on my progress. I have been using CPAP for a while and it is going well. I had my second visit to sleep clinic and they said I am doing really well and adjusted my pressure to bring down the AHI below 5. I sent my SL1 form to DVLA and they informed me that they wrote to my consultant and waiting for an answer (My consultant said I am ok to drive).

Last week I also had an appointment with an ENT surgeon and he did an endoscopy to see any problems within and told me that my nose septum is partially blocking one nose and he like to do a drug induced sleep study. He said he will also do a surgery on the same day to correct my nose and take it from there after seeing the results of the study. He mentioned it will atleast increase the effectiveness of my CPAP therapy.

So I am hoping for the best.

Thanks and this forum is great with relevant information

George

Hi,

The diagnosis from the consultant said score of 38.5, severe sleep apnea, must inform dvla. I phoned resmed who said now  I was being treated I did not need to inform dvla? I next phoned the dvla for advice as i had already written for a form. A pleasant and knowledgable lady said I did need to inform the dvla who would contact the doctor. There is a time limit on returning the form and it would seem it is a legal requirement to tell them even if you are not driving. My insurance company want to know what the dvla says before commiting themselves. As people have said its a minefield of bad advice and misinformation depending on where you live, you can understand peoples reluctance to inform dvla but your insurance is invalid if you don't,

Good luck ☺

Chris

George said:

Dear Sleep2snore and Kath,

Many Thanks for your reassurances and advise. I will wait for my appointments and treatment to inform DVLA after consulting with my consultant. I got acknowledgement of referral, informing me an appointment within 26 weeks! I am hoping to get an appointment to  my CPAP very soon.

Thanks,

George

 

Great update George, even though I'm late to see it.  I've had a drug-induced endoscopy....there's not many places who do that in the UK.  Mine was with Prof Bhik Kotecha in London.  He confirmed things we suspected and could see why it's impossible to nasal breathe even if I wore a chin strap.  I'm due back in March, but don't think I'll be going ahead with anymore surgery.  I've already had septoplasty and turbinates reduction - both of which help me breathe better in the masks than I used to be able to.  Good luck with yours.

George said:

Hi all,

I thought to update you on my progress. I have been using CPAP for a while and it is going well. I had my second visit to sleep clinic and they said I am doing really well and adjusted my pressure to bring down the AHI below 5. I sent my SL1 form to DVLA and they informed me that they wrote to my consultant and waiting for an answer (My consultant said I am ok to drive).

Last week I also had an appointment with an ENT surgeon and he did an endoscopy to see any problems within and told me that my nose septum is partially blocking one nose and he like to do a drug induced sleep study. He said he will also do a surgery on the same day to correct my nose and take it from there after seeing the results of the study. He mentioned it will atleast increase the effectiveness of my CPAP therapy.

So I am hoping for the best.

Thanks and this forum is great with relevant information

George

Yes Chris, you did need to contact them.  They recently updated their policy on this.  With severe sleep apnoea you need reviewing every 3 years now, but it is clearer than it used to be.  Problem is, not everyone is aware of the changes yet.  Mild sleep apnoea doesn't need reporting if symptoms improve within 3 months.  It won't be a problem getting approved though with you now being on treatment.

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Chris Vesey said:

Hi,

The diagnosis from the consultant said score of 38.5, severe sleep apnea, must inform dvla. I phoned resmed who said now  I was being treated I did not need to inform dvla? I next phoned the dvla for advice as i had already written for a form. A pleasant and knowledgable lady said I did need to inform the dvla who would contact the doctor. There is a time limit on returning the form and it would seem it is a legal requirement to tell them even if you are not driving. My insurance company want to know what the dvla says before commiting themselves. As people have said its a minefield of bad advice and misinformation depending on where you live, you can understand peoples reluctance to inform dvla but your insurance is invalid if you don't,

Good luck ☺

Chris

George said:

Dear Sleep2snore and Kath,

Many Thanks for your reassurances and advise. I will wait for my appointments and treatment to inform DVLA after consulting with my consultant. I got acknowledgement of referral, informing me an appointment within 26 weeks! I am hoping to get an appointment to  my CPAP very soon.

Thanks,

George

 

Hi Chris,

I did inform DVLA after my CPAP started by submitting the SL1 form downloaded from online. After a month's wait DVLA got back to me saying I am ok to drive. I also informed by insurance as well.

So It was not as scary as i thought..

Cheers,

George

Chris Vesey said:

Hi,

The diagnosis from the consultant said score of 38.5, severe sleep apnea, must inform dvla. I phoned resmed who said now  I was being treated I did not need to inform dvla? I next phoned the dvla for advice as i had already written for a form. A pleasant and knowledgable lady said I did need to inform the dvla who would contact the doctor. There is a time limit on returning the form and it would seem it is a legal requirement to tell them even if you are not driving. My insurance company want to know what the dvla says before commiting themselves. As people have said its a minefield of bad advice and misinformation depending on where you live, you can understand peoples reluctance to inform dvla but your insurance is invalid if you don't,

Good luck ☺

Chris

George said:

Dear Sleep2snore and Kath,

Many Thanks for your reassurances and advise. I will wait for my appointments and treatment to inform DVLA after consulting with my consultant. I got acknowledgement of referral, informing me an appointment within 26 weeks! I am hoping to get an appointment to  my CPAP very soon.

Thanks,

George

 

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