What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which there is a pause in the individual’s regular breathing rhythm or their airways are blocked due to narrowing of the airway or excess mucus while they are asleep. The impairment of air intake during sleep can have dangerous side effects on the heart and respiratory system. A sleep study is necessary for diagnosis.
Veterans diagnosed with sleep apnea are often prescribed use of a c-pap machine and other medical devices. The invasive c-pap machine can cause many veterans serious additional sleeping problems as well as exposure to mold if the machine is not properly maintained. Many veterans with sleep apnea can no longer sleep in their own bed or have to be propped-up to sleep every night. This can seriously disrupt the way that you sleep.
Sleep apnea can be connected to service if there is an incident or injury which would affect the sinuses or airways, an exposure to chemicals which would have a harmful effect on the sinuses or respiratory system, or documentation of the veteran suffering from sleep apnea while in the military. The VA rating can be as high as 50% if a c-pap machine is used. A 100% rating is only granted if the veteran suffers from chronic respiratory failure with carbon dioxide retention or cor pulmonale or the condition requires a tracheostomy.