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I have a few questions. I was medically retired in 8/1/07 for ptsd, bilateral shoulder problems for a combined 40% at the time and placed on tdrl. I already had a claim on tinnitus granted so I am 50% VA rated currently. My ptsd claim is on appeal should be 50-70% not 10% which was bogusly given. Anyways not here to discuss that part of my case, jsut giving background. On my PEB hypertension was also noted and has been noted many times in my service medical records. I put all my readings that I could find into an excel spreadsheet with dates and places. I know I have many more, but gives me a baseline for now>

I found 22 readings with an average of 150/93 (170/120 high 1 time and 120/82 low 1 time). I was put on licinopril/HCL back in 04 but never took medicine consistently. I took medicine in 05 spuradically and 06 as well. I went for some medicine recently about 3 months ago, since I needed a DOT card. My initial readings were 160/100 adn 155/105 without medication. I took medication for a recheck for abotu 2 wks and it was 140/89. I have not since had my BP checked. It most likely isnt low anways.

MY question is would I qualify most likely for the 10% criteria of >90 diastolic near contious even though Im goign to be back on meds??

Sleep Apnea

How do you know if you have it? I heard people mention about snoring and such. I have ptsd and since I got it, I snore extremely loud with my mouth open, so I've been told but dont know if I have anythign else wrong with me? just wondering what are the usual signs of sleep apnea and when do you decide to ask VA to check it??

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-With the averages you have reported and the assignment of meds on AD you should qualify for a 10 percent rating.

-OSA: snoring at night while feeling tired and sleepy all the time is a good indicator of OSA. Just talk it over with your doc and ask him to have you evaluated.

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Well, people with Sleep Apnea usually snore alot, snore loudly, but most importantly, they stop breathing in their sleep. Usually the wife tells them that they notice that they stop breathing in their sleep. Also, they are very sleepy during the day because they do not have refreshing sleep. They wake up with a headache because during the night, they suffered many episodes of low oxygen concentration in their blood. The feeling is similar to a hangover. Many people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure, a neck circumference of 17 inches or more, fall asleep easily during the day, but be careful. If you are very sleepy when you drive, you might loose your driver's license. Your first visit might be with a Pulmonologist. In the first visit you will be asked about your complaints and have a physical exam.

But, along time ago, there were very few sleep studies ordered. Nowadays, there are so many ordered, that you'll have to wait a long time between the initial visit and the sleep study. Many, many reasons why now there are some many sleep studies ordered. (If you need a CPAP machine you get 50%) Or, there is more awareness of the disease, better patient education, etc.

The sleep study is at night, you sleep in a sleep lab. There are cameras recording your sleep, a blood oxygenation monitor on your finger, and several wires stuck to your scalp. If you get diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, you get a prescription for a CPAP machine. It is a mask connected to a machine that keeps your airway open when you sleep. When people with sleep apnea first use a CPAP machine, they have a good night sleep. They wake up refreshed. Now, some people don't like, they say it doesn't work. But be careful, the machine has a small computer chip that records the number of hours that the machine was used. The Pulmonologist will pull out that card and connect it to his computer and if the machine was only operated for 4 hours in the past 6 months, then they write just that.

I hope this helps everyone.

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thank you both for your replies. I feel with my readings in the past and diagnosis of it int he Marines I would qualify for the 10% hypertension. As for the sleep apnea, I dont know if I qualify. I know I've been told I snore loudly, prior to Iraq, I never snored this bad. I do have a neck of almost 22 and im way way overweight due to depression and ptsd. I have HTN as well. I was just curious about the sleep apnea thing. I hope I dont have it actaully.

Just seems one problem after another, trying to get myself somewhat normal, if there is a normal.

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  • Elder

What you have stated indicates that you have a link to high blood pressure when you were in the Marines. What you need most of all is a diagnosis that says you have it now and than hopefully a Doc who will say you have it and that its their opinion that it started while you were in the Military.

My sleep apnea is helped by the CPAP machine that the VA gave me. Most of all I don't wake up in morning with dry mouth and a sore throat like I did when I did not have the machine. I also sleep longer and easier than the struggle I go through when I don't use the machine.

From what you have said in your post I think getting a rating for HBP is going to me a lot easier than for Sleep Apnea. However, both are doable.

Good Luck

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thanks pete,

I think I shall qualify now for HTN, def documented in military and post. I'm just gathering all my records and putting all the reasing in an excel file so I can have results. I put systolic and diastolic readings by date and place taken. I was put on medication in the Marines, never given it prior to.

As far as sleep apnea, I was never trying to file a claim, I was wondering if I could find out if I had it or not. Cuz if I did, I want to know thats all.

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  • Elder

As a 50% Service Connected Veteran you should ask your Primary Doc to give you a consult to be tested for Sleep Apnea. It will take a few months but eventually you will find out.

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