Sleep Apnea is a condition where a person briefly & repeatedly stops and restarts breathing while sleeping.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form. OSA occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax and thus fail to keep the airway open.
- Central Sleep Apnea: Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send the required signals to control breathing during sleep.
- Complex Sleep Apnea: Complex sleep apnea occurs when a person has both OSA & CSA.
Symptoms for sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty focusing
How Sleep Apnea impacts veterans
Sleep impacts a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Sleep is required to function. How sleep apnea can impact a veteran differs from person to person; however, in some cases, the veteran is unable to work because of the extent of hypersomnia and difficulty to focus. One out of five veterans have obstructive sleep apnea, and the number has been increasing over the years. Bosley & Bratch understands how detrimental sleep apnea can be in a veteran’s life, we want to help.
Because sleep apnea restricts a veteran’s ability to breath, reducing the oxygen levels in your blood, there are many negative effects of this condition. If your sleep apnea is service-connected, it is important that you consider if it has caused or aggravated any of the conditions below.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Heart Disease
- Sinusitis & Rhinitis
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
Why we Practice for Veterans with Sleep Apnea
22% of veterans suffer from Sleep Apnea, however, not all of them will get disability benefits for sleep apnea because the VA errs. Understandably, when the VA wrongly denies a veteran’s case, some veterans get frustrated and drop their claim. We at Bosley & Bratch, want every veteran who has sleep apnea because of their time in service, to get benefits for their condition. Veterans fight for us while in service, and we fight for veterans to get the benefits they deserve.
After being in practice for 24 years, Bosley & Bratch has gained the experience required to cultivate thorough techniques of practice. We have strategies to support our clients through every step of the appeals process. While proving a sleep apnea claim can be overwhelming, our knowledgeable attorneys know what to look for and how to support your claim. For example, because of our experience in the area of sleep apnea, our attorneys know that one of the best ways to establish service connection is if the client is able to provide a name of a buddy in service who slept next to our client and can testify as to any of the hallmark sleep apnea symptoms. Thus, when building the case for one of our client’s our attorney learned a name and phone number of one of our client’s bunk-mates, called, and obtained a statement. This bunkmate explained that the client was an incredibly loud snorer on the ship demonstrating our client’s service connection. Because we were able to submit the bunkmate’s statement with the brief, the Board granted service connection for sleep apnea citing the buddy statement as the reason.
Steps to Take
- File a claim.
- Undergo a sleep study & obtain a sleep apnea diagnosis.
- Do you have proof in your military records of your sleep apnea?
- If not, can you get a statement from:
- A friend or significant other who knows what you sound like when you sleep post-service
- Someone you bunked with while in service
- Obtain a medical opinion that supports that sleep apnea is connected to your time in service or another service-connected condition.
- Call Bosley & Bratch at 800-953-6224 or chat with us online.