Sleep On Your Side Or Abdomen:
If you want to look for the ways on how to treat sleep apnea naturally, you should avoid sleeping on your back. The reason may be that this sleep position can make your soft palate and your tongue rest against your back. As a result, the airway is blocked and you find it difficult to sleep. Moreover, sleeping on your back encourages the throat muscles to relax and close, resulting in apnea. Therefore, it is suggested to sleep on your side in order to alleviate the discomfort and triggers of this sleep disorder. Another advice for sleep apnea prevention is to reduce the number of used pillows. By doing that tip, you will let the neck lie in the natural angle and keep your chin from pushing towards your chest as well as open the airways.
In Step #5 Youll Want To Get A Nexus Letter For Sleep Apnea From A Credible Independent Medical Professional
A Nexus Letter for Sleep Apnea is an evidence-based document prepared by a medical professional that helps to establish a connection between the veterans current disability and either their military service or another disability condition for secondary service connection.
A Nexus Letter is often the missing link, aka, the essential piece of evidence needed to help a veteran get his/her VA sleep apnea service connected.
So now Ive probably got you wondering: Brian, why are nexus letters so effective at proving service connection under the law?
Awe yes, Im glad you asked.
Simply put, its because VA disability claims are won or lost based on medical evidence.
Either you have enough medical evidence, or you dont.
In our experience, a well-crafted Nexus Letter for Sleep Apnea is the single most crucial document a veteran can provide the VA Rater to help prove service connection on an at least as likely as not basis.
Yep, it really is the single, most powerful way to prove service connection.
First, a credible Nexus Letter fulfills the third legal pillar of secondary service connection for Sleep Apnea mentioned above.
A Veteran must provide medical nexus evidence establishing a connection between the service-connected disability and the current disability .
If youre wondering How to Get a Nexus Letter for Sleep Apnea, weve made a list of the Top 5 Doctors Who Write Nexus Letters for Sleep Apnea.
How Is Sleep Apnea Different Between Adults And Children
Sleep apnea leads to poor-quality sleep in all affected people, but the daytime symptoms can be different between adults and children. Adults are more likely to exhibit daytime sleepiness and fatigue, while children are more likely to show behavior issues such as difficulty concentrating and hyperactivity.
Additionally, sleep apnea is treated differently in children. In adults, the most common treatment is CPAP, while the most common treatment for children is surgery. Certain orthodontic treatments are only helpful in actively growing children and are not an option for adults with sleep apnea.
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Determine Direct Service Connection Vs Secondary Service Connection For Sleep Apnea
In Step #4, youll want to make the call on Direct Service Connection versus Secondary Service Connection.
In our opinion, the only time a Veteran should pursue Direct Service Connection for Sleep Apnea is IF and ONLY IF you did a Sleep Study while on active duty, which confirmed the presence of a Sleep Apnea condition .
Direct Service Connection Requirements
Direct Service Connection means that a particular disease or injury was incurred in service.
This is accomplished by affirmatively showing inception during service.
There are three components to proving Direct Service Connection:
- A current disability
- An event, injury, or disease in service, and
- A link or nexus establishing that the current disability had its onset or inception in service, which may be established by evidence of
- Chronicity and continuity, or
- Continuous symptoms or a medical nexus opinion.
All pertinent or relevant medical and lay evidence must be considered, including the service records .
For the legal principles of direct service connection, see 38 CFR 3.303.
Secondary Service Connection Requirements
In our experience, if you did NOT have a Sleep Study while on active duty and you did NOT get a medical diagnosis of Sleep Apnea in the military, you should attempt to service connect your Sleep Apnea VA claim SECONDARY to another service-connected disability.
How To Prove Service Connection For Sleep Apnea: The 6
- Step #1: Get a NEW Sleep Study
- Step #2: Confirm a medical diagnosis of Sleep Apnea with a sleep specialist
- Step #3: Conduct a Sleep Apnea Gap Analysis to include medical research and case law precedent
- Step #4: Determine Direct Service Connection vs. Secondary Service Connection
- Step #5: Obtain a Nexus Letter for Sleep Apnea
- Step #6: Get at least one VA Buddy Letter for Sleep Apnea
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Get At Least One Va Buddy Letter For Sleep Apnea
In the final step, Step #6, youll want to obtain at least one Lay Statement, aka Buddy Letter to support your VA claim for Sleep Apnea.
A VA Buddy Letter is simply a credible Statement in Support of a Claim, written by a competent individual 18 years of age or older, who has direct, first-hand knowledge of an event or injury, and offers an account of what they witnessed or are witnessing in support of a veterans VA disability claim.
These lay statements can be from a fellow service member, spouse, friend, pastor, co-worker, boss, adult child, or any other competent and credible adult witness.
A Buddy Letter can be the linchpin to winning your VA disability claim.
Because a Buddy Statement constitutes lay evidence under the law, which simply means after the fact evidence written by a competent lay person 18 years of age or older who does NOT have any specialized education, training, or experience.
The Rating Veteran Service Representative at the VA MUST consider a buddy letter because its considered a secondary source of evidence in support of your VA disability claim.
When writing or obtaining a buddy letter for Sleep Apnea, you can simply use the VA Form 21-4138, Statement in Support of a Claim.
A great VA buddy letter is short, simple, and factual to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer.
Think LESS is MORE.
What should you include in a Buddy Letter for Sleep Apnea?
Obesity As A Major Cause Of Sleep Apnea
Before looking at strategies that can produce effective results for reducing the symptoms and effects of sleep apnea, it would be a good idea to start by looking at your weight. Visceral fat deposition and obesity have a significant impact on the presence of sleep apnea symptoms.
First, calculate your BMI and determine if you are at a healthy weight, overweight, or perhaps even obese. If your BMI is over 25, you are considered overweight. If your BMI reaches 30, you are considered obese. Weight has been linked to more severe symptoms of sleep apnea and can also lead to an increased risk of complications that develop from this condition.
Studies have provided evidence that, in an obese patient, efforts to lose weight can assist in providing an effective reduction in sleep apnea severity. In one study, researchers reported that participants not only experienced an improvement in symptoms directly associated with sleep apnea, but additional benefits were also noted, including a reduction in the risk of complications associated with sleep apnea. Specifically:
- Cardiovascular disease
Reducing the effects of sleep apnea can also have a corresponding reduction the health-care costs that the patient would incuranother important benefit that should be noted.
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Key Takeaways On Using Cbd Oil For Sleep Apnea
CBD has demonstrated several health benefits for patients with sleep apnea. Both animal and human studies suggest that this cannabinoid can be used for symptom control and to improve sleep quality in people suffering from this condition.
On top of that, CBD might be useful in regulating a persons sleep-wake cycle one of the main therapeutic targets for sleep apnea.
More research needs to be done on the link between CBD and sleep apnea, but current findings are very promising.
You can incorporate CBD oil into your daily routine to reduce anxiety, hypertension, pain, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are the side effects of untreated sleep apnea.
CBD may be used safely as adjunctive therapy to some conventional sleep apnea treatments, such as lifestyle changes, physical activity, CPAP machine use, and diet modifications.
Do you take CBD oil for sleep apnea? Does it help? Let us know by leaving a comment below:
Conduct A Sleep Apnea Gap Analysis To Include Medical Research And Case Law Precedent
In this step, youll want to conduct a gap analysis of your VA Sleep Apnea disability, to include the approximate timeframe that your symptoms began.
If you have your Service Treatment Records, go through them in detail, and look for any complaints or symptoms related to Sleep Apnea.
If you did have a Sleep Study on active duty, and you have a diagnosis in your Service Treatment Records, make sure to annotate this in your Lay Statement for Sleep Apnea.
In our experience, however, most Veterans didnt do a Sleep Study during the military, which is critical to note prior to moving onto Step #4.
The final part of Step #3 is to conduct some Google Searches of medical research and BVA case law decisions for your VA Sleep Apnea claim.
If youd like to save some time and effort in your research, you can download my FREE eBook, which includes medical research studies and BVA cases for Sleep Apnea:
Youll learn 3 critical things about service connection for Sleep Apnea:
- HOW to get your Sleep Apnea VA claim service connected
- DISCOVER 50+ conditions linked to Sleep Apnea and WHY the word aggravated may be key for you!
- BONUS! FREE video explains how to WIN, and SERVICE CONNECT Sleep Apnea in LESS TIME!
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What Is Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea refers to when a persons airway collapses or narrow, which causes the individual to stop breathing in repeated periods or briefly throughout the whole night. The result is a drop in the bodys oxygen amounts and disrupts the persons sleep cycle.
- People with sleep apnea in most cases snore loudly, and their partners may witness apnea episodes, which interrupts the snoring and results in a snort at the end. Bear in mind that sleep apnea affects 3-7 percent of the population.
When Should We See A Doctor
It is a good idea to consult a doctor anytime abnormal sleep symptoms are present. Also, children who are not sleeping well may have trouble focusing, display irritability, or have poor impulse control. If a child is struggling with behavior concerns, it could be helpful to ask the doctor whether a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea may be a contributing factor.
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Install A Humidifier In Your Room
Humidifiers were developed to help put moisture back into the air around you. You would be surprised how quickly air in a room can become dryand this can have a significant impact on sleep apnea symptoms. When the air becomes too dry, especially while you are sleeping, it may cause your respiratory system to become irritated. In turn, this can cause problems with breathing.
With a humidifier installed in your room, you add moisture back into the air you breathe, which helps improve easy breathing, decreases congestion, and ensures your airways remain open. You might also consider adding some essential oils to the humidifier, which may provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Health Consequences Of Sleep Apnea
The chronic sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and an increased risk of accidents and errors in your daily activities.
Sleep apnea also has a mental impact. It can trigger moodiness and irritability and cause anxiety and depression. It also increases your risk of other serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and stroke.
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Lifestyle Treatments For Sleep Apnea
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to treat the issue. Your doctor will let you know if thats the right starting point. But even if you are prescribed a medical treatment, the following changes can help reduce your sleep apnea episodes and improve your sleep.
Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can have an enormous impact. While it is usually not a total cure, it can reduce the number of breathing episodes you experience, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease daytime sleepiness. Even a small amount of weight loss can open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Exercise. Even when exercise does not lead to weight loss, it can decrease your sleep apnea breathing episodes and improve your alertness and energy during the day. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all good choices for strengthening the muscles in your airways and improving breathing.
Sleep on your side. Lying on your back is the worst position for sleep apnea, as it causes the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach isnt much better, since lying face down or twisting your head to the side both obstruct breathing. Lying on your side, on the other hand, helps keep your airway open. If you find side sleeping uncomfortable or you tend to roll on to your back after youre asleep, countered side pillows or body pillows may help.
Upper Airway Surgery For Sleep Apnea
If you have exhausted other sleep apnea treatment options, surgery to increase the size of your airway may be a possibility.
The surgeon may remove tonsils, adenoids, or excess tissue at the back of the throat or inside the nose, reconstruct the jaw to enlarge the upper airway, or implant plastic rods into the soft palate. Surgery carries risks of complications and infections, and in some rare cases, symptoms can become worse after surgery.
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Can Losing Weight Cure Sleep Apnea
Treating sleep apnea, like treating many diseases, starts with lifestyle and behavioral modifications. For most OSA sufferers, this includes working toward a healthy body weight. Weight loss reduces fatty deposits in the neck and tongue which can contribute to restricted airflow. This also reduces abdominal fat, which in turn increases lung volume and improves airway traction, making the airway less likely to collapse during sleep.
Losing weight can also significantly reduce many OSA related symptoms, such as daytime sleepiness. Irritability and other neuropsychiatric dysfunctions markedly improve as well. There is an overall improvement in cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and in particular quality of life. Weight loss of just 10-15% can reduce the severity of OSA by 50% in moderately obese patients. Unfortunately, while weight loss can provide meaningful improvements in OSA, it usually does not lead to a complete cure, and many sleep apnea patients need additional therapies.
How To Get Rid Of Sleep Apnea
If youve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or even suspect you may have it, you probably know that its important to have it treated before it leads to other, more serious health conditions. The good news is that most cases of sleep apnea can be easily treated. The even better news is that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be completely cured. If you arent sure how to get rid of sleep apnea, dont stress because we have provided information on how to cure sleep apnea, as well as sleep apnea treatments without CPAP equipment.
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Surprising Sleep Apnea Exercises To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Did you know that sleep apnea exercises can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea? If exercising makes you want to put on your CPAP mask and go to sleep, dont worry. Were specifically talking about exercises for your throat and some mild cardiovascular exercises that are related to improving your breathing, such as yoga.
Since sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the relaxed muscles of the airway expand and block the flow of air, strengthening those muscles may mean that they maintain more tension during sleephelping keep your airway open.
How To Take Cbd Oil For Sleep Apnea
There are several forms of CBD you may take that are available on the market that you can use for sleep apnea. However, some CBD types may be more effective than others.
CBD oils are the most common format. They are taken under the tongue for improved absorption. Patients can place the oil using a dropper attached to the bottle and hold it beneath the tongue for about 60 seconds before swallowing.
There are also CBD vape pens available in the market today that offer higher bioavailability than oils they also have a faster onset, but on the other hand, their effects are shorter-lived.
CBD also comes in oral formats, such as capsules and edibles. These products provide a fixed dose of CBD per serving, so there is no guesswork involved you just take as many gummies/capsules as recommended by your doctor, or as stated on the jar.
Finally, there are CBD topical formulations that you can use as a means of localized relief from pain, irritation, redness, swelling, and other kinds of physical discomfort.
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