We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Disability Benefits For Sleep Apnea

Who Can Diagnose a Sleep Apnea Disorder? 

Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder in which breathing is interrupted. The breathing may repeatedly stop and start while an individual is sleeping. People with untreated symptoms are at higher risk of experiencing critical health conditions. 

When left untreated, it can lead to severe health conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and heart attacks. It can even increase the risk of death and may harm an individual in the long run. This is why it is critical to focus on the warning signs and recognize the condition early. 

Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Disability For Sleep ApneaSleep apnea can be disabling when it causes severe health issues for a very long period. Breathing problems, mental health issues, and heart issues can trouble a person when the condition does not get better from any medication or other treatment. 

Here, we have listed some warning signs that you should not ignore. These are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea that many people experience when they are diagnosed with the condition: 

  • Choking
  • Chronic and loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Insomnia 
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty remembering or retaining information
  • Obstructed breathing while sleeping

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately get in touch with your healthcare provider. Getting in touch with a healthcare provider at an early stage will help you get proper treatment for your condition before it worsens. 

We have also outlined different symptoms that medical professionals may use to diagnose and treat the disease. Remember, severe sleep apnea disability issues can occur if you fail to seek a healthcare professional’s assistance and the symptoms mentioned above are left unattended.

Types of healthcare providers that can treat this disorder

This guide will help you determine who you should contact if your condition is severe. Whether you should seek a sleep specialist or a primary care doctor will depend on the severity of symptoms you are experiencing. 

  1. Primary care doctors – Most patients visit their healthcare provider and raise concerns about the symptoms. Based on the symptoms you describe and your overall health condition, your healthcare provider may further refer you to a specialist. Your primary care doctor will first evaluate and monitor your condition. They will observe the symptoms you are experiencing daily and how those symptoms are affecting your health. They may also suggest a specific treatment, depending on the severity of your condition. 
  1. Sleep specialists – If it is a severe sleep disorder, it may make sense to seek consultation from a sleep specialist. These are specialized medical professionals who have an understanding and in-depth knowledge of disorders related to sleep. If you have any significant concerns, you can always reach out to an expert to help you resolve them. You should never delay in seeking consultation as it may turn more critical if left untreated. 
  1. Pulmonologist – Sleep apnea directly affects the breathing pattern of an individual. As a result, the breathing may begin and stop abruptly. Many people also experience related conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Visiting specialized healthcare and pulmonologists will help treat these essential lung and respiratory diseases. Healthy lungs play a vital role in the health of an individual. Therefore, people may also seek consultation from an experienced pulmonologist. 
  1. Dentists – Dental professionals do much more than treat gums and fill cavities. A proper examination will help them evaluate the condition of your teeth and your overall health. You should also know that some dentists are familiar with and know how to treat critical sleep disorders. Therefore, individuals experiencing the symptoms above can consider visiting a dentist. Visiting a dentist regularly will help evaluate the early signs of the condition. 
  1. Neurologists – According to scientists and researchers, sleep apnea can occur because of neurological conditions. Your brain and nerves can contribute to sleep apnea and make it even worse. Consulting a neurologist may help you obtain relief and prevent the brain from further damage. Your primary healthcare provider may evaluate your symptoms and refer you to a specialized neurologist if required.
  1. Psychiatrist – This disorder can disturb an individual’s sleep and is often associated with anxiety, depression, and poor concentration. Improper sleep can even lead to stress which may disrupt the functioning of the brain. Often, an individual will require consultation from a specialized psychiatrist. These are medical experts who specialize in conditions related to mental health and will help reduce the symptoms of such issues. 
  1. Otolaryngologists – Loud, frequent snoring, and sore throat are common symptoms that people diagnosed with the condition experience. These potential symptoms can negatively impact an individual’s eyes, nose, and mouth. Otolaryngologists are medical professionals specializing in issues related to the ear, nose, and throat. Patients may have to visit one to get treatment for these symptoms. These doctors may help alleviate severe symptoms and bring the situation under control. 

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is not listed in the SSA’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments, so having a diagnosis will not qualify you for benefits automatically. The applicable disability listing for this ailment falls under breathing disorders, mental health issues, and cardiac problems. People also suffer from severe behavioral problems, cognitive deficits, mood disturbances, heart failure, chronic pulmonary hypertension, and other cardiac issues.

You can apply for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will conduct a thorough review of your medical history before approving your application. You can obtain benefits when you can qualify according to the criteria in the disability listing. 

For a successful disability claim for chronic pulmonary hypertension, refer to listing 3.09 and check the qualifying criteria. Similarly, if a person with chronic heart failure wants to apply, he should check listing 4.02. For mental disorders like depression, anxiety, intellectual difficulties, memory issues related to disability benefits, you can refer to 12.02.

To qualify for benefits under this listing, you must show relevant medical documentation provided by a qualified healthcare professional. This documentation will help to prove the nature of your condition. The SSA will review documentation from when you started facing initial symptoms to when prolonged sleep apnea issues caused Short Term Disability or chronic disability. Prescriptions, diagnostic test reports, hospital admission details, medications used, and other treatment procedures will also be considered.

What to do when you face such health issues?

Sleep apnea is a fairly common condition, but there is no disability listed for the disease in the Blue Book. Therefore, you will have to prove that your medical condition is disabling because you are no longer able to perform substantial gainful activity. 

Consult an experienced Attorney for Social Security Disability for assistance with the application process, required documentation, and other details. An attorney will assist you throughout the process so that you do not have to face a denial. You can concentrate on your health while the legal professionals do everything necessary to win the disability claim.

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