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Sinusitis Claim: True Or Not True


Fat

Question

I was at a meeting when a fellow veteran indicated some incredible news to me.

The veteran is filing a sinusitis claim after a nine year career in the marines.

The veteran discharged in 2009.

He filed a claim in June 2013 and was granted a C&P exam in early January 2014.

The exam consisted of a x-ray and visual sightings of the nose.

The veteran received a denial in February 2014 due to x-ray being normal.

However; the veteran went to a ENT doctor in mid January 2014 (5 days later from C&P EXAM) after the C&P examiner stated his nose was boggy.

The ENT doctor sent him for a CT Scan and low and behold the radiology report noted mucosal thickening in the frontal and maxillary sinuses.

He forwarded the information to the regional office; however the information was not listed on the decision letter.

In addition, he took a waters view x-ray in June 2014 which also stated mucosal thickening in the maxillary sinuses.

He researched the issue and found THE WATERS VIEW X-Ray is the preferred x-ray due to the head being slightly tilted which gives a greater view of the maxillary and frontal sinus areas.

A regular x-ray doesn't provide as good of a picture if lying down.

He filed his NOD shortly after being denied and is waiting for a decision.

I wonder how many veterans are getting the wrong x-ray/radiology report results due to the wrong technique being used to formally diagnose sinus disease/chronic sinusitis.

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Same thing happened to me during my claim in Jun 14. Yet I just went to see an ENT DR for a Vertigo C&P, and he noted R Septum collapsed and thickening too. I am going to await my current claim and then go from there. Sorry to hear of your friends' troubles.

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Same thing has happened to me a least 3 times a years as I am rated for sinusitis I get headaches and sinus pressure that last for months all my doc will do is a regular x-ray said he would only do a cat-scan if something shows on x-ray. The x-rays always comeback normal but my head and pain level says different.

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Fat,

I had similar issues when I filed for allergic rhinitis back in the 90's. They denied me on the single x-ray image, but I appealed to the BVA and won remand. They ended up doing several angles, including the tilt, and also a CAT scan. The CAT scan is what tilted the scales and showed a deviated septum that matched up with an injury I had during basic. I won on appeal.

I your friend's C&P doctor was a regular doctor, not an ENT specialist. Perhaps, if his ENT doc was a non-VA doc, maybe he could convince him to write an IMO...

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The VA will often deny if it can. My husband got a C&P for headaches. It was a Gulf War claim. The VA said the claim was denied because his headaches were diagnosed as headaches. (Yes. They actually said that.) They also mentioned that he had a sinus condition, but reported on the Statement of Case “A review of service medical records showed diagnosis of sinusitis in September 1982. A chronic disability associated with sinusitis is not shown by service medical records.”

The 2003 Neurological Disorders, Miscellaneous Exams C&P examiner actually stated that my husband’s frontal headache was a manifestation of chronic sinus disease. He also noted my husband underwent an x-ray of his sinuses on September 3, 1982 (in service) and the x-ray showed ethmoid and maxillary inflammatory changes of the chronic type.

My husband's SMRs showed quite a few notations of treatment for sinus conditions, and an xray report that showed he had chronic inflammatory changes in his sinuses. The C&P examiner gave that as the cause of his headaches, noted that it was diagnosed in service, and also included copies of current xrays with the places where the inflammation was circled and noted.

But they denied SC as his headaches "were diagnosed as headaches" and they downplayed the sinus condition.

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