Know Your Sleep Apnea Risk Level
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 30 million Americans who suffer from lack of restorative sleep.
The majority are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.
Typical symptoms include heavy snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, difficulty with concentration or memory, among many others.
Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences.
What It Is How To Recognize It Why It Matters And How It Can Be Treated
Do you find yourself tossing and turning, snoring, with difficulty breathing at night? Its estimated that obstructive sleep apnea affects between 2-9% of adults in the United States, though the majority of cases go undiagnosed.
Many people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea awake not feeling rested from the night before, which can snowball into additional unwanted side effects. While obstructive sleep apnea is typically a long-term disease, it can be managed through a wide variety of treatments. On this page, well walk you through what obstructive sleep apnea is, including common symptoms and causes, with information to learn more about diagnosis and treatment.
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VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. Were here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements for a wide range of disability conditions.
What Is Organic Sleep Apnea
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How Can You Receive Va Disability For Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects about 22 million people nationwide. If you are among the former military service members living with sleep apnea, you may be eligible for veterans disability compensation. This guide will outline the basics of sleep apnea, how the VA disability rating works for this condition, and how qualifying veterans can prove service connection.
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Commonalities In Sleep Apnea
Whether it is central vs obstructive sleep apnea, there are complications that arise from periods of low oxygen due to breathing disruption while sleeping. The sudden drops in blood oxygen levels can tax the cardiovascular system, leading to spikes in blood pressure and overall hypertension or high blood pressure.6
Sleep apnea sufferers report daytime fatigue and grogginess, as well as difficulty staying focused. Sleep apnea can even increase your risk of developing Type II diabetes.
All types of sleep apnea can be treated with sleep apnea equipment such as a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or a CPAP machine.7
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder that is found in both children and adults. Those who exhibit it, experience either complete or partial collapse of the upper airway during sleep. This makes it hard to breathe, and can be very disruptive to a full nights sleep, in addition to disturbing your bed partner. Its analogous to breathing through a straw. When youre awake it is not so difficult as you are aware and you can increase your breathing rate, however at night you do not have this same compensatory mechanism, so it wakes you up. Obstructive sleep apnea most frequently affects older men, but can also affect women and children as well.
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Secondary Service Connection For Sleep Apnea
Veterans may also be able to establish service connection for sleep apnea on a secondary basis. A secondary service-connected disability is one that resulted from a condition that is already service-connected. In cases of secondary service connection, the medical nexus opinion must link a veterans secondary condition to their already service-connected disability.
How Do You Prove Sleep Apnea Is Service
The critical component to gaining approval for VA disability benefits is proving the medical condition is service-connected.
What this means it the VA will not approve disability benefits unless the patient can link the medical condition to time served in the military.
The only exception is if you were already diagnosed with a medical condition, yet have evidence that the disorder got worse during your time serving the country.
Veterans have 2 options for proving that sleep apnea is service-connected:
- Medical Records/Evidence
- Secondary Basis
The VA traditionally performs a sleep study examination if the patient is suffering from symptoms that may be linked to sleep apnea.
The sleep study can serve as medical proof that your sleep apnea disorder is service-connected if medical records do not provide any evidence before you joined the military.
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How Does The Va Diagnose Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a difficult condition to diagnosis for a variety of reasons.
For starters, the symptoms for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea are similar and may overlap.
Therefore, receiving a diagnosis that covers the correct form of sleep apnea is not always apparent at first.
Furthermore, the patient may have Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome which includes both forms.
Sleep apnea is difficult to diagnose unless you sleep with a partner .
Consequently, the military traditionally orders a sleep study when sleep apnea is suspected.
The sleep study enables medical professionals to study a patient while they are resting to confirm a diagnosis.
A sleep study can serve as medical evidence of a diagnosis.
Moreover, the VA has an expected duty to assist veterans in scheduling the sleep study examination.
Thus, do not be afraid to contact your local veterans clinic or hospital to set up a new examination.
What if you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea?
The VA will likely still have you undergo a sleep study done by the military to confirm the diagnosis.
What If Youre Denied For Benefits
If your obstructive sleep apnea VA claim, or other sleep apnea claim, was originally denied, you may be able to appeal the rating and receive VA disability compensation. The law professionals at Hill & Ponton are available to help. Our disability attorneys focus on veterans disability and social security disability law, helping your family obtain the benefits youre entitled to. You can call our law firm at 1-888-373-9436 to discuss your VA disability claim.
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Are Sleep Apnea And Insomnia The Same
Sleep apnea is a condition where the individuals breathing gets interrupted during sleep, while insomnia is a condition where an individual has difficulty sleeping. The majority of insomniacs may be aware that they could have sleep breathing issues that cause them to stay awake at night but they may not connect their sleep breathing problems to insomnia.
This is why you see many people with sleep apnea also experiencing insomnia, but simply chalk it up to an ill-timed cup of coffee in the afternoon.
Sleep Disorder Not Due To A Substance Or Known Physiological Condition Unspecified
- 2016201720182019202020212022Billable/Specific Code
- F51.9 is a billable/specific ICD-10-CM code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.
- Short description: Sleep disorder not due to a sub or known physiol cond, unsp
- The 2022 edition of ICD-10-CM F51.9 became effective on October 1, 2021.
- This is the American ICD-10-CM version of F51.9 – other international versions of ICD-10 F51.9 may differ.
- Applicable To annotations, or
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What Are The Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea can have a series of negative side effects on day-to-day life, often resulting in lower levels of energy and sleepiness during the day. Those who experience obstructive sleep apnea may also exhibit the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Obesity: Several studies have found a strong correlation between higher body mass index and obstructive sleep apnea. One study found that people who increased only 10% in weight were six times more likely to be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, 90% of people who suffer from hyperventilation syndrome also have obstructive sleep apnea.
- Upper airway and craniofacial abnormalities: People are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea if they exhibit abnormalities such as short mandibles, enlarged tonsils, or abnormally sized upper jaw bones.
- Neck size: Those with a larger neck , tongue, or tonsils and adenoids may be more likely to experience a blocked airway.
American Sleep Apnea Association
We envision a world in which most people suffering from sleep apnea are diagnosed, aware, educated and treated. This serious syndrome, when left untreated has a large influence on quality of life and multiple life-threatening implications. Yet it is highly treatable. Unfortunately it is estimated that more than 80% of people suffering from sleep apnea are undiagnosed. To help those living with sleep apnea, we work relentlessly to promote
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Classification Of Sleep Disorders
Classification of sleep disorders, as developed in the 19th century, used primarily three categories: Insomnia, Hypersomnia and Nightmare. In the 20th century, increasingly in the last half of it, technological discoveries led to rapid advances in the understanding of sleep and recognition of sleep disorders. Major sleep disorders were defined following the development of Electroencephalography in 1924 by Hans Berger.
Three systems of classification are in use worldwide:
- the International classification of sleep disorders , an advanced system cultured by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for sleep specialists.
The ICD and DSM lump different disorders together while the ICSD tends to split related disorders into multiple discrete categories. There has, over the last 60 years, occurred a slow confluence of the three systems of classification.
Diagnoses of sleep disorders are based on self-assessment questionnaires, clinical interview, physical examination and laboratory procedures. The validity and reliability of various sleep disorders are yet to be proved and need further research within the ever-changing field of “Sleep Medicine“. Admittedly, the development of sleep disorder classification remains as much an art as it is a science.
Study Population And Data Sources
This study used chart review and survey data previously collected for a larger study examining the identification of OSA as well as insomnia in sleep centre patients . The study population included all adults over the age of 18 years who completed an online questionnaire and underwent clinical assessment and/or sleep diagnostic testing at the Foothills Medical Centre Sleep Centre between January 1, 2009 and January 1, 2011. The FMC-SC is a publicly funded academic sleep centre that provides diagnostic testing and clinical services and is the only publicly funded tertiary referral sleep centre in Calgary, Alberta. They receive approximately 2500 referrals annually and over 5000 patient visits occur each year for diagnostic services including approximately 1000 polysomnography tests and over 2000 ambulatory tests. All newly referred patients filled out a questionnaire containing questions regarding occupation, sleep patterns, sleep aids, previous medical history and relevant clinical questions.
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Completing The Disability Claim
Step 5: Submit a personal statement along with the disability claim. The personal statement outlines when you believe the condition started and how your time in the military made sleep apnea worse. Include as many medical records and evidence as possible.
Step 6: Patients that need a CPAP or another type of breathing device while sleeping should get written acknowledgment from a doctor that the machine is necessary because of sleep apnea. This simple step should guarantee a 50% rating or higher.
Step 7: Some patients opt to include buddy letters from family, friends, and military associates that are familiar with the condition and how it has negatively affected your life.
Step 8: Review the disability claim for errors and submit. Patience is necessary with VA disability claims, particularly those associated with sleep apnea since the government does not have a stellar track record of approving these types of claims.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome Is A Combination Of Osa And Central Sleep Apnea
Doctors have recently identified a third type of sleep apnea called complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Patients with this type of sleep apnea may at first seem to have obstructive sleep apnea, but unlike typical patients with obstructive sleep apnea, these patients symptoms are not fully addressed with the use of CPAP.
In patients with complex sleep apnea syndrome, breathing problems persist even after the airway obstruction is addressed and treated, which means something besides the collapsing throat muscles are also contributing to the apnea.
The problem is that there is still a lot of debate among sleep medicine specialists about whatexactly is going on in complex sleep apnea, or what the key characteristics that define it are.
In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Sleep Medicine Clinics, doctors conducted a review of 223 patients referred to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center over one month, as well as 20 patients diagnosed with central sleep apnea. 00122-7/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 11) They found that 15 percent of all sleep apnea patients had complex sleep apnea. As many as 84 percent were found to have obstructive sleep apnea, and 0.4 percent had central sleep apnea.
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Is There A Connection Between Ptsd & Sleep Apnea
Research has shown that their veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, may be at risk for sleep apnea. There are factors that overlap in both disorders which affect and aggravate each other. Some of these factors are issues that veterans may have experienced in active duty, such as disturbed sleep in combat, excessive sleep deprivation, fragmented sleep, hyperarousal, and chronic stress.
Although all of these symptoms contribute to the interaction between sleep apnea and PTSD, the main culprits seem to be sleep deprivation and chronic stress. Studies have shown that patients exhibiting these symptoms tend to have increased frequency and length of apneic events.
Research has also shown that as the severity of PTSD increases in a person, the chances of developing sleep apnea increases as well because of the interplay between the shared factors of the two disorders. Sleep apnea and other mental illness are also associated with each other. Click here to learn more about that topic.
The important takeaway message is that if you are a veteran suffering from PTSD, it is important to get a screening for sleep apnea. You may be eligible for additional VA disability benefits based on that diagnosis.
Are Sleep Apnea And Insomnia Related
Sleep apnea and insomnia are related in that insomnia is a symptom of sleep apnea. What this means is that if you have sleep apnea, its likely youll experience insomnia. Your sleep apnea will interrupt your breathing during sleep and likely wake you up, so thats another reason why some may erroneously attribute what could be sleep apnea as insomnia.
Insomnias symptoms include waking up too early in the morning, the inability to fall back to sleep, and going through episodes of uncomfortable or disturbed sleep. If your sleep apnea wakes you up, then its likely youll experience any of those events as a consequence.
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Nonorganic Insomnia In Generalized Anxiety Disorder
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How Does Va Diagnose Sleep Apnea
VA requires that a sleep study be conducted before confirming a sleep apnea diagnosis. Even if a medical professional has previously diagnosed a veteran with sleep apnea, VA will not consider this sufficient evidence without a sleep study.
Veterans who have already been granted VA disability for sleep apnea based on their service connection, but did not undergo a sleep study, will likely be required to undergo one to maintain their benefits. On the other hand, those who have maintained a VA rating for at least 10 years do not need to partake in a sleep study as their diagnosis and disability rating are protected.
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The International Classification Of Sleep Disorders
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders was produced by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in association with the European Sleep Research Society, the Japanese Society of Sleep Research, and the Latin American Sleep Society. The classification was developed as a revision and update of the Diagnostic Classification of Sleep and Arousal Disorders that was produced by both the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers and the Association for the Psychophysiological Study of Sleep and was published in the journal Sleep in 1979.
The International Classification of Sleep Disorders uses a multiaxial system for stating and coding diagnoses both in clinical reports or for data base purposes. The axial system uses International Classification of Diseases coding wherever possible. Additional codes are included for procedures and physical signs of particular interest to sleep disorders clinicians and researchers. Diagnoses and procedures are listed and coded on three main âaxes.â The axial system is arranged as follows:
Axis A ICSD Classification of Sleep Disorders
Axis B ICD-9-CM Classification of Procedures
Axis C ICD-9-CM Classification of Diseases .