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Chronic Sinunitis



I have not been able in 5 years been able to find out how to SC sinunitis....I have been shown many things that I was treated for it several times in the Marines. I have shown I was in a warehouse exposed to a lot of things. I even indicated to the VA that I was exposed to petro exposure for 4 years. Yet they say they cant prove SC for this. I know I only suffered from this since i was in the USMC and I dont know how to prove it. Please help.

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Was this listed on your discharge physical or is it in your SMRs as treated at all?

Can you get a buddy statement showing that they served with you, when -same unit- etc and were aware you had sinus condition?

Do you have asthma or allergies now that could be due to past sinus condition?

Did you ever see a medic for balance or ear problems that were due to clogged sinuses? How about allergies?

to Afganistan/Iraq vets- I bet many of you have sinus and allergy problems from the sand.You should claim these conditions if they are still affecting you.

Claims like this take an IMO and even then an IMO might not be able to fully help SC this condition.

I have seen claims like this at the BVA-anything is possible to SC- but it takes medical evidence that strongly shows inservice potential etiology for these problems by occupation or MOS, or place of service.

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We were given benadryl and claritin. I know that my whole unit we would come back from run (with best run pfts) but go back to our unit etc and once we got back to the unit we would hack and be sick for about an hour after...it was like we were allerigic honestly to the building. The building was evac'd other than us Marines. People in nuclear suits came over and drilled and did results, after a woman who was preg in our unit claimed she was extremely dizzy and problems breathing at our unit. Our building was found to be built on a old not properly destroyed fuel farm.

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I also suffer from chronic sinusitis and was supposed to have surgery while in the army but due to shortages of ENT's it did not happen. I leanred only yesterday through IRIS that in order to be SC'd for this I had to submit another claim since I am pending for PTSD. I have had five surgeries to remove polyps; clear the sinus' and reshape the interior to assist with breathing, but I still get chronic and severe nosebleeds and problems breathing. I do have my military med records which indicate on the ETS physical the nasal problems and also the records showing I needed surgery and the VA asked me to submit them right away by Facsimile which I did yesterday. Thats the only way I can think of to connect it and thank God I kept those medical records.

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Guest RickB54
I have not been able in 5 years been able to find out how to SC sinunitis....I have been shown many things that I was treated for it several times in the Marines. I have shown I was in a warehouse exposed to a lot of things. I even indicated to the VA that I was exposed to petro exposure for 4 years. Yet they say they cant prove SC for this. I know I only suffered from this since i was in the USMC and I dont know how to prove it. Please help.

You prove it the same way you prove any other service connected condition.

1. Treatment of condition while on active duty

2. Treatment after service

3. Current treatment and doctor statement showing a clear nexus.

4. or if 1 is not possible, then show a nexus as a secondary condition

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I have been able to prove treatment. I have been able to get someone stating they reconize that I had it and was treated for it but what causes sinunitis i guess is where i am having difficulty connecting the two

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  • HadIt.com Elder


"Yet they say they cant prove SC for this."

Who is "they"? The VA or an SO. Are you saying the case has already been denied? Did they deny the claim without a C&P exam. If so,when was it denied. If you were denied without a C&P, I will have a lot to say.

If you were not already denied by the VA consider the following.

If you were treated for sinusitis symptoms in the military with meds and you currently have the same symptoms and you file a claim the VA should do an exam to determine if they are related. You can also take your SMR to a current doctor have him review it and get a nexus letter. The best bet is to go to a VA hospital and get them to write the nexus letter. They should have a format to follow that is accepted by the VA. A private doctor might not follow the proper format for the letter.

I have seen sinusitis hard fought by the VA. I have total blockage of both nostrils which can be rated as high as 30%. I read several BVA cases on sinusitis. It really depends on the exact terminology used in the SMR. The VA likes to claim that the symptoms in the service were not typical of chronic sinusitis.

You really do not have to prove what causes sinusitis. The only requirement is that they determine that you had it in the military, you have it now and there is a nexus.

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The VA Regional Office and the VA Hospital state that they can not service connect it even though they clearly indicated that I received treatment in the service. They read my SMR's. I was denied.

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My husband fought for 10% on chronic sinusitis, originally rated SC at 0% for many years.

It took the BVA awarding him 10%, however, we're appealing for an EED back to the day after retirement. We submitted evidence from the ENT surgeon who performed surgery while my husband was active duty, and then a later opinion from Dr. Bash.

Don't give up. It was an additional rating of a mere 10% that got my husband to 95% = 100% schedular. It can make all the difference in the world.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I take it you went the VA hospital and pleaded your case to a doctor or they scheduled a C&P. I think it is important to know whether the VA hospital was a C&P exam scheduled by the RO or did you try to get a letter from a doctor and they refused to get involved.

What is important is the logic the medical examiner used to deny the claim and the qualifications of the examiner. I have been through all this. If it does not make sense, then keep fighting them. I had two doctors at the VA hospital refuse to assist me with my claim for angioedema. I was denied two times by the RO. However, the wording on the denials did not make sence to me. Eventually, I saw the head of immunology who wrote a slam dunk report that got me service connected for life threatening angioedema (100%). Angio refers to the skin. Edema refers to swelling. Thus, swelling of the skin. Some doctors consider my condition a skin condition and the VA sometimes rates it as a skin condition. It is actually a vascular disease.

If you want to fight it check the rating schedule to make sure your current sinusitis is sufficiently chronic and severe enough to get a rating. Try to find some BVA cases that were awarded and align your evidence with those cases. There is a link to BVA cases on hadit. Uses the search term "sinusitis". What exactally did the doctors or the RO put in writing as the explanation as to why the condition in the military can not be service connected?

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I found a few that said basically that the veteran did not have sinunitis before entering the service and was treated while in service therefore the BVA granted that it happened while active duty and SC the disability. So what you just reference the appeals cases in your claim?

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The VA Regional Office and the VA Hospital state that they can not service connect it even though they clearly indicated that I received treatment in the service. They read my SMR's. I was denied.


Here's an "off the wall" consideration for sinusitis causes:

The list of possible medications or substances mentioned in sources as possibe causes of Sinusitis includes:

Alprostadil injection

Alprostadil pellets









Benazepril Hydrochloride


Caverject injection

Caverject pellets








Edex injection

Edex pellets








Interferon Beta







Loniten tablets


Medroxyprogesterone Acetate


Minoxidil tablets

Muse injection

Muse pellets



Nicoderm CQ

Nicotine transdermal patch





Prostin VR






Risperdal M-TAB



Sandimmun Neoral






Topamax Sprinkle



And even the above isn't a complete list!


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You know what I was pointed to the bva site and I found a lot of good resources in where the veteran did not have sinunitis before service, then was treated in service, was denied sc and the bva was given the granting for SC...i hate that it seems the VA tries really hard to deny any kind of claim they can. Unfortunately, I found a lot appeals were dropped because of death. I think they should continue it only because it creates a fine resource for veterans in the future to help them.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Rather than just cite a BVA case I think it would be better to understand the logic cited in any doctors reports shown on the BVA awards. Then try to get a doctor to write a similar report for you that applies to your claim. You could take the BVA report to the doctor to show him what other doctors are saying. Your front line attack is with the doctors not the adjudicators. Once you have strong medical evidence the adjudicators have a difficult time denying the claim.

There are many ways to get strong medical evidence. I am glad to hear you have found the BVA cases and are no getting a better picture of what goes on with claims that are awarded.

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Thanks for the advise Hoppy. I will do that but I think i should wait until my I/U case is done....too bad they can multi task over at the VARO

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  • HadIt.com Elder


Some more things to keep in mind when you do your research.

I recall you were diagnosed a couple times with sinusitis while on active duty. The problem was that the RO did not think it was chronic. I do not know much about this disease, so my thoughts on your claim will wonder around many options I have read about in various BVA cases.

The fact that you had the diagnosis would be hard to dispute by the RO. Thus, you would have a condition that would at least be considered sinusitis of unknown etiology. They might refer to it in BVA cases as "idiopathic sinusitis". That is they know you have it but they do not know what is causing it. Thus, it could be episodic and not chronic or part of a more chronic condition. The VA can rate idiopathic conditions.

The big question at this time is do you have ongoing symptoms that occur 24/7 or structural changes such as polyps. If the symptoms are episodic and come and go then the question may arise as to what is triggering the episodes. If the trigger cannot be identified and your episodes are sufficiently chronic to meet the requirements of the rating schedule then you are still on track for a valid claim. If the trigger is identified and it can be removed and avoided the VA generally does not rate these. However, if the trigger is very common and the continued episodes are sufficiently chronic to be disabling then your are still on track. You can research this by reading allergy claims. Allergy claims and other idiopathic claims of episodic conditions are dealt with in similar fashion by the VA.

I have been wondering if sinusitis can be caused by smoking cigarettes. If so and you were a smoker this might confuse the claim.

A nexus between the current condition and the in-service condition or continuity of treatment can also become an issue. Depending on the frequency of episodic conditions the continuity issue can be only addressed by a doctor. If the RO tells you that there was to long of a lapse between the military and post service treatment without seeking a medical opinion then the door is open to get a medical opinion that states otherwise.

A good question to ask doctors is once you start having symptoms of sinusitis, how is it that a doctor would determine if and when the disease completely resolves. Additionally, what is the frequency in the general population and the likelihood that an individual would contract the condition and have an unrelated cause develop later in life. I have seen the VA wave the nexus requirement when a disease is generally considered to be chronic or has no known cure. Diseases that have no known cure and manifest later or are known to become dormant and then active are often service connected.

I was diagnosed in the military with a disease that is rare, is considered to be chronic and has the potential to become more severe later in in life and has no known cure. The reason the disease becomes more severe in some people and not others is unknown. The reason I got the opinion that progression of severity is unknown is to keep the VA from trying to say events after the military were actually inter-current injuries. I provided the VA with letters from doctors supporting all the features of this disease to the RO. I was still denied for idiotic reasons and was eventually service connected by a DRO. The RO tried to say that the medical opinions were based on my subjective opinions. I argued that I did not point any guns at the doctors or twist there arms. They wrote the reports because these were the medical facts. They did not even identify what exactly it was that I told the doctors that the doctors would have based there opinions on. I had a stack of about 40 post service reports from doctors who actually saw active and severe (life threatening) symptoms of the disease. I was treated in ER's and plugged into IV's with numerous drugs. The documentation of the symptoms and treatment was very specific and noted by about 25 different doctors. Yet it took a DRO to see through the BS.

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I think Hoppy said it very well. With me, I have had five operations since leaving military service, and yet, the breathing still is problematic. In fact, a metal prosthesis was inserted to open the left nasal valve and even that is problematic since it causes infections around the area and the discharges cause blockages of the passage which require visits to the ENT for him to insert that nine inch device into my nose to remove the obstruction. Let me tell you that is painful no matter how much pain meds I take prior. If we used that device to extract confessions from detainees we would have a lot better intel. For me it is impossible to know if the ENT on active duty had handled this back then whether or not it would be better now.

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no im sorry they consider it chronic but they say i was treated for it in service but nothing to connect it to. However, I was reviewing my entrance medical exam and it indicated my Sinuses were perfectly normal before active duty. Would that be enough to show SC is the problem.

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  • HadIt.com Elder


They call it chronic. My question is what are the symptoms? And do you have any current exam notes indicating what the symptoms are. Do they say you have nasal obstruction or just discoloration of the tissues. I have seen these types of notes in my file.

It is important for me to know the date of the denial and if it was denied without a C&P exam. Did the people at the hospital refuse to write a nexus letter or did you have a C&P exam scheduled by the RO at the hospital?

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ive got chronic sinunitis. notes indicate a deviated septum and a unknown reason for the sinunitis. they guess that its allergies. however, they can not prove it. I have had the discharges, I have had eye drainage (when I cant breathe and clogged up). I also take claritin every day. I have back ups of seveal nasal sprays. They also say that sinunitis and sleep apnea go hand in hand...If you have sinunitis there is a correlation between the two. I am not a doctor I am only telling you what I am telling you.

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Spike Hoppy has given you some good advice.

Just notes from reading your post:

chronic = has existed more that 6 months

My opinion is: Always remember - the most probale reason that most of the appealed claims get approved by the BVA is - the BVA adjuicater is a senior lawyer. He is supported by a staff of lawyers. They see things both legally and medically different than the GS9, non medical or legal trained, rater or the non medical or legal trained DRO/senior rater. When they look at a claim if it meets the legal requirements and the medical evidence from experts is there you are gonna get an approval. Most of the time the rater nor DRO understand the law are medical portion of the claims and their decisions are based upon their interpertations. Once it gets to the BVA you betcha you gonna get a fair shake if your claim has merrit cause they understand that if the claim is in accordance with the law and leaves no legal room for an argument then its gotta go into the approved stack. JMHO

As a side note there are some smart and snappy raters and DRO's out there so not all is lost at the RO level :D

Edited by Ricky (see edit history)
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