What do you worry about as a truck driver? Accidents? Tickets? Making your route on time? Getting enough sleep?

What about high blood pressure?

Did you know that high blood pressure could get you disqualified from driving and could even kill you? Read on to learn more about this ailment, and what you can do to protect both your job and your health!

What is high blood pressure, and what are the symptoms?

 High blood pressure is referred to as “hypertension”. High blood pressure will often not show any symptoms for years. In general, hypertension works over time, as it’s a chronic condition that erodes your health over time.

There are some symptoms to look out for, such as:

  • shortness of breath;
  • vision changes;
  • confusion;
  • nosebleed;
  • irregular heartbeat; and
  • pounding in your ears or chest.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.

How does high blood pressure affect your health?

 Hypertension causes your arteries to harden and thicken, which can lead to fat and plaque accumulation leading to restricted blood flow and life-threatening cardiac situations.

Those who suffer from higher blood pressure are at higher risk for heart attacks and other heart disease, which is the leading killer of men in the U.S.

Hypertension has also been linked to aneurysms, brain and kidney damage as well as damage to the eyes – which can destroy your vision and compromise your ability to make a living as a driver.

How high blood pressure affects your career

Truck drivers are subject to medical examinations, which electronically will share your blood pressure numbers with the DOT.

There are three classes of hypertension medical certifications:

  1. Blood Pressure 140/90-150/99.

Known as stage one hypertension, drivers with blood pressure within this range will be issued a three-month non-renewable certification in which they must get their blood pressure under 140 or be disqualified from driving.

  1. Blood Pressure 160/100-179/109.

Known as stage two hypertension, those with blood pressure within this range are issued a three-month certification, and must bring their blood pressure down either with or without medication to fewer than 140 or are disqualified from driving.

  1. Blood Pressure 180/110+.

Known as stage three hypertension, drivers with blood pressure numbers within this range are automatically disqualified from driving, and if they can get their blood pressure down below 140/90 they can be issued a six-month medical certification and be required to re-certify every six months.

The DOT and FMCSA both keep a list of acceptable blood pressure medications that can be used while driving professionally, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any decisions about which medication to use.

High blood pressure or hypertension is a silent killer of both your health and career, be sure to get yourself checked, so that you can make the necessary diet and lifestyle decisions to keep yourself within the correct ranges to protect your health and your job!

For more information on finding a great driving job, contact the experts at Contracted Driver Services today!