Asthma Secondary To Sleep Apnea
Asthma is a condition that affects a persons airways and makes it difficult for them to breathe. With asthma, the airways narrow and produce extra mucus. This can often interfere with daily life. Symptoms of asthma can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
- Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Research has indicated that people who have asthma are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. This could be because both asthma and sleep apnea affect the upper and lower respiratory tracts. When the throat muscles are weakened due to asthma, there is a greater likelihood for the throat to collapse and create an obstruction of the airway.
Depression Rated By The Va As A Secondary Condition To Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a sleeping persons breathing to stop and start. This happens when the throat muscles repeatedly relax and block the airway when you sleep, limiting the amount of air that reaches your lungs. Snoring is a primary sign that you might suffer from OSA.
Despite a full nights sleep, OSA sufferers can wake up feeling exhausted and experience fatigue throughout the day. Its possible to have problems with concentration, and you may inadvertently fall asleep.
Because your body is waking up consistently throughout the night, it doesnt get the chance to fully rest.
Over 22 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, and veterans claims for this condition have increased almost 150 percent since 2009. Approximately 9 out of 10 veterans who receive compensation for OSA are rated 50 percent disabled by this condition. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 94 percent of sleep disorder claims are from veterans of the Gulf War I and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
Veterans who suffer from service-connected OSA may also suffer from secondary medical conditions, including depression. Because OSA can reduce a veterans ability to get a solid nights sleep, it can cause irritability and fatigue. If a veteran suffers through months and years of inconsistent, interrupted sleep, this may result in mental problems such as depression.
Positive Airway Pressure Therapy For Sleep Apnea Treatment
Since sleep apnea can correlate with conditions like heart disease and obesity, its important to seek treatment options. Physicians will treat sleep apnea depending on the type and severity of the condition. This can range from CPAP therapy, lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and others. While some individuals with breathing disorders may show improvement from lifestyle changes, breathing assistance devices such as CPAP machines , BiPap machines, etc. are still among the most common treatments. These machines creates airway pressure to help the individual breathe throughout the night.
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Why Do So Many Veterans Have Sleep Apnea
Research shows a strong correlation between deployments and sleep disorders, and sleep apnea is extremely common among veterans. The Office of the Inspector General found that 1.3 million veterans enrolled in VA Healthcare have a sleep apnea diagnosis.
As a veteran, youre four times more likely than other Americans to develop sleep apnea. According to the VA, 1 in 5 veterans has obstructive sleep apnea. Since 2009, the number of veterans claims for sleep apnea has increased by over 150%, according to USA Today.
Why do so many veterans have sleep apnea? There are many factors during and after service that make veterans vulnerable to this condition. There are also many service-connected conditions that can result in sleep apnea. It can also work in reverse: sleep apnea can lead to other disabilities.
Sleep apnea can be aggravated by PTSD , also an extremely common disorder for veterans. The same goes for depression and anxietyor any of the 33 mental health conditions rated by the VAwhich can be highly disruptive to sleep.
Traumatic brain injury and physical pain are also conditions that affect many veterans and can lead to sleep apnea. Exposure to materials such as dust and fumes, and the resulting rhinitis or sinusitis, is also a common issue for veterans thats associated with sleep apnea.
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At VA Claims Insider, we can help you win your claim and get the highest VA rating for sleep apnea.
At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation theyre owed by law. Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim .
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Sleep Apnea Secondary To Migraines
Sleep apnea, like insomnia, is a sleep disorder that can be connected to migraines. Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which a persons breathing is repeatedly interrupted throughout the night.
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apneathe most common form of sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep
- Central Sleep Apneaoccurs when the brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
- Complex Sleep Apneaoccurs when a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea
In order to receive a VA disability compensation rating for sleep apnea, VA requires that a sleep study be conducted. Ratings for sleep apnea can be issued at 0, 30, 50, or 100 percent, depending on severity.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Sleep Apnea
Your doctor will want to rule out any other possible reasons for your symptoms before they diagnose you with sleep apnea. To do this, theyâll:
- Ask if you take any medications, such as opioids or other drugs that could affect your sleep
- Look for other medical reasons or conditions that could cause symptoms
- Ask if youâve traveled recently to altitudes higher than 6,000 feet. These locations have low oxygen, which could cause symptoms of sleep apnea for a few weeks after traveling.
A variety of things help determine sleep apnea:
Medical history. Your doctor will look at your signs and symptoms based on the information you give them. Theyâll review your familyâs history for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, whether you have a risk factor for the condition, and if you have any complications of undiagnosed sleep apnea .
Physical exam. Your doctor will perform a physical exam on you to look for signs of other conditions that can heighten your risk for sleep apnea . They may also look at your jaw size and structure as well as the size and position of your tongue.
Theyâll check your lungs, heart, and neurological systems to see if you have any common problems related to sleep apnea.
Sleep studies. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist or a center for a sleep study. You can do these studies in a special facility or at home. The tests will:
How The Va Rates Sleep Apnea
There are several categories under which sleep apnea may be defined during a VA review of your health to determine what conditions you may have and which are considered by the VA to be service-connected. They include:
- Conditions that require a tracheostomy due to chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale
- Conditions that require the use of a breathing assistance device such as a CPAP machine
- Persistent day-time hypersomnolence
- Asymptomatic but with documented sleep disorder-type breathing
These ratings range from 100% disability all the way down to 0% .
The breakdown is as followsremember that the VA rates all such cases individually but using a guide to qualifying conditions that include:
- 100 percent VA rating: awarded in cases of chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonare, or requires tracheostomy
- 50 percent rating: awarded in cases where the use of a CPAP machine is required
- 30 percent rating: awarded for persistent day-time hypersomnolence
- 0 percent rating: awarded for asymptomatic sleep apnea with documented sleep disorder breathing
Our Duty Is To Help Disabled Veterans Contact Us Today For A Free Consult
Sleep apnea is a widespread and highly destructive medical problem among veterans. The process of making a claim for this military-related disability can be difficult without help.
No web article can take the place of one-on-one legal advice from an accredited Veterans attorney. Call us at 800-562-9830 to discuss your claim, your appeal, service connection, rating decision and more. We are honored and able to assist you today.
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Are There Different Types Of Sleep Apnea
There are three types:
Obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type. It happens when your airways repeatedly become completely or partially blocked during sleep, usually because the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses. During these episodes, your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder than normal to open your airways. You may start to breathe with loud gasps or jerk your body. This can affect your sleep, lower the flow of oxygen to your vital organs, and lead to abnormal heart rhythms.
Central sleep apnea. With this type, your airway doesnât become blocked. Instead, your brain fails to tell your muscles to breathe because of issues in your respiratory control center. Itâs related to the function of your central nervous system. Central sleep apnea happens most often in people with neuromuscular disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , those whoâve had a stroke, or in people with heart failure or other forms of heart, kidney, or lung disease.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome. This condition, which doctors also call treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, happens when you have both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
What Are The Health Risks Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to sleep deprivation from constant nightly interruptions and shallower overall sleep. Lack of sleep is associated with far-reaching health consequences that affect a person physically, mentally, and emotionally, and as a result, it comes as no surprise that sleep apnea has been tied to diverse health problems.
Because of how it affects oxygen balance in the body, untreated sleep apnea raises dangers for various types of cardiovascular issues including high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
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How Berry Law Can Help
The experienced VA Appeals lawyers at Berry Law are committed to helping fellow Veterans in their fight for disability compensation. If you have been denied disability benefits for a disability secondary to sleep apnea or have been given an unsatisfactory rating, we can help you appeal. Contact Berry Law today for a free case evaluation.
The attorneys at Berry Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.
Diffuse An Essential Oil In Your Bedroom
The research studies found that essential oils, such as tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It might help with nasal congestion .
Peppermint oil can also make you feel like its easier to breathe . To disperse essential oils in your bedroom, you can use a diffuser.
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Sleep Apnea Secondary To Gerd Va Disability
Service connection on a secondary basis requires a showing of causation.
A showing of causation requires that the secondary disability be shown to be proximately due to, or the result of, a service-connected disability.
The first part can be satisfied with any existing medical evidence in service treatment records, VA medical records, or any private medical records.
The second part can be satisfied with a veterans existing service-connected disability rated at 0 percent or higher, which would be GERD in this example.
The third part can be satisfied with a Medical Nexus Letter, aka, Independent Medical Opinion from a qualified medical professional.
Did you know there are more than 50 conditions that can be medically linked to cause or aggravate sleep apnea?
Diabetes Secondary To Sleep Apnea
While diabetes is usually considered to be linked to sleep apnea through obesity, the two conditions may be more closely related than previously explored. Recent studies have reported that sleep apnea alters glucose metabolism, promotes insulin resistance, and may even cause type 2 diabetes. Even if sleep apnea does not cause diabetes per se, it has been shown to increase the severity of the condition.
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Learn If Your Sleep Apnea Is Secondary To Gerd
Sleep apnea and GERD can both be disruptive conditions that can have a severe impact on your life. Doctors arent entirely sure why there is a connection between sleep apnea and GERD. If you have either or both of these conditions and you served in the military, you could be eligible for compensation from the VA.
If youd like to learn more about whether sleep apnea is secondary to GERD, get in touch with us at Woods and Woods, The Veterans Firm. We fight for veterans every day, and you dont pay unless we win. Contact us today and start getting the compensation you deserve.
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Hypertension Secondary To Sleep Apnea
Having obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing hypertension. This is particularly true if the condition goes untreated with a CPAP machine. The increase in hypertension comes from the drop in blood oxygen levels that occur due to sleep apnea.
Longstanding hypertension can lead to heart failure. Medical studies have found that most people with heart failure have a history of hypertension. Conversely, the absence of hypertension in middle age is associated with a lower risk of heart failure. Through this link, sleep apnea can effectively lead to heart failure as a result of hypertension.
Hypertension also increases the risk of stroke, which is another leading cause of death and long-term disability. High blood pressure damages the arteries throughout the body over time, which means they can burst or clog more easily. Weakened arteries inside the brain from high blood pressure greatly increase the chances of having either an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
Favorable Bva Case Law Precedent Example #:
Result: The Board finds that the evidence supports the Veterans claim of entitlement to service connection for obstructive sleep apnea, secondary to his service-connected GERD, with history of esophagitis and hematemesis. The evidence shows a current diagnosis of very severe obstructive sleep apnea. The evidence also indicates that the Veterans service-connected GERD impacts on his ability to treat his sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. Finally, the Board finds the medical opinions of record addressing the issue of aggravation stand in equipoise in terms of their probative value.
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How Does The Va Diagnose Sleep Apnea
The VA will usually order a sleep study to be performed in order to confirm a current diagnosis of sleep apnea. As a part of the VAs duty to assist veterans in obtaining evidence to help prove their claim, the VA has a duty to assist veterans in scheduling the examination for a sleep study. This study will serve as medical evidence for the veterans case.
For veterans who have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea without a sleep study by the VA, the veteran may have to undergo a sleep study done by the VA in order to confirm the diagnosis for benefit purposes.
Getting A Combined Disability Rating
If you have more than one disability connected to your service, you will receive a combined rating. The VA uses the Combined Ratings Table to calculate a combined rating for veterans with multiple service-connected disabilities.
Disability ratings are not added to each other. Instead, the VA uses the rating table to determine a combined rating. This involves listing each disability in order of severity and then using the chart to find a combined rating.
For example, assume that you have already received a rating of 60% for your service-connected asthma. You are then given a 20% disability rating for your sleep apnea. Based on the chart, the combined rating would be 68% this rating is then rounded to the nearest 10, giving you a combined disability rating of 70%.
Applying for veterans disability benefits to include a disability that was obtained on a secondary basis can be complicated. A seasoned New Jersey veterans disability benefits attorney can help you with the process, from filing the paperwork to gathering evidence in support of your claim.
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