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Sleep Apnea

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Just finished having a sleep study the other night. Halfway through, I was hooked up on the CPAC machine. I was asked afterwards if I thought my sleep was better.

The official results won't be known for another week. My guess is based on this test and the fact that I had respiratory failure due to low oxygen level I will be recommended to go on the CPAC.

I am already service connected for hypertension and cardiomegaly. Would I file this new claim requesting secondary to either one as sleep apnea?

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If you can get a nexus statement from a Dr. stating that the Sleep apnea is caused by either of those conditions sure.

In actuality (with out the specifics from your records), it is more likely that your hypertesion and cardiomegaly might have been caused or increased due to sleep apnea.

Many people will have sleep apnea for years even decades before diagnosis.

I currently have a claim in for Sleep apnea that was diagnosed 11 years after service. My pulmonologist's nexus statement says more likely than not and goes on to point out the 4-5 medical facts/indicators from my smr's that back up his conclusion. Hypertension and enlargement of the heart are two of them. In service they stated my hypertension was essential (no identifiable reason).

When I was placed on CPAP they said - you won't want to wear this but you need to - I slept like the dead the first two days and was amazed as how much better I felt. Not waking up on the wrong side of the road is a big plus also. Sleep hasn't been so kind to me lately though due to the pain issues with my back/legs.

A CPAP can be a life saver and improve you quality of life big time.

Best regards,

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Thats good information-hopefully they approve this!

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A CPAP use is only half the battle in obtaining SC for OSA. At least one of the docs need to supply a nexus statement linking military service to your diagnosis of OSA. My experience has been that docs hand out sleep apnea nexus about like a mother bear lets others handle her cubs...you can ask, but dont count on it. Try a Vet friendly doc.

Do persue the use of the CPAP, if needed, for your health reasons whether or not you get SC for it. The CPAP has a smart card in it that records whether you are using it nightly or not. I use a CPAP, and am NOT SC for it, have been using it for 3 years. I think my number was 67apnea events, meaning I stopped breathing 67 times per hour (or per night, I forget which).

If you are prescribed a CPAP, I whole heartedly recommend you use it, but you need to understand it will likely take some getting used to. You may have to switch masks, pressure, etc. The doc sets the pressure at a certain number of pounds. Mine is 9 pounds air pressure. He determined that number at the sleep study, decreasing the pressure on the cpap to the lowest number that eliminates apnea events.

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Thats is some very good information. How would you access the smart card to see if you stopped breathing. Perhaps there s an instruction for that.

As far as getting service connected for sleep apnea, a few years back when i got my c-file, one of the service officers had wrote that veteran didn't mention or make it known that he also wanted to file for fatigue. We'll, I am always tired because I can't get a good night sleep. I understand the cpac machine helps you sleep much better.

This is all being done through an outside MD referred through by base doctor for tricare prime. So when this all done, I will schedule an appointment for the VA doctor and give them all the medical reports from the hospital-sleep study and pulmonary doctor. Once that has all been documented(I will getaq copy of this visit notes),then I will carefully put together my next claim. I will let this doctor know that I am a Veteran and if he could write a nexus letter so I can get the VA to give me the machine.

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Cool Breeze:

I had a sleep study done by Kaiser and they prescribed a CPAP machine, the only problem was that my policy didn't cover it so if I wanted one I needed to pay for it out of my own pocket. I mentioned to my VA PCP that I thought that I might have sleep apnea and he sent me top the sleep clinic, they did a sleep study and two weeks later gave me a CPAP machine, so far I haven't seen a bill and they gave me the machine last August. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that the VA will probably make you take another sleep study.

On sc there needs to be something in your SMR about snoring or being tired. Back in the 60s and 70s nobody knew about sleep apnea and generally if you went to sick call about being tired and snoring they told you to cut back on the partying and to sleep on your side.


Take nothing but pictures Leave nothing but footprints

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My tricare covers 80%. My share would be 20% which isn't bad at all. If these results come back indicating in need the CPC(expecting due to result test) then I will ask for it in good time. Sometimes they provide good equipment. When they informed me my blood pressure was high and how often do I check I informed them I never do cause I can't afford the blood pressure kit. The wrote out an authorization and I picked it up on the spot.

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