The Effects Sleep Apnea Can Have On You

You may be suffering from a dangerous condition if you seldom wake up feeling refreshed. Most people are aware of the consequences of not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can cause mood swings, irritability, food cravings, difficulty focusing, and sluggishness. 

When you do not know why you cannot sleep, the symptoms become even more aggravating. The causes of sleep deprivation can range from blue light exposure to parasites, but you could be suffering from something more serious like sleep apnea. 

The Disability appeal process can be complex if you do not know the  Blue Book listing criteria and how to provide relevant medical documentation and other details in support of your case. Remember, the Social Security Administration will investigate every single detail before processing a disability application and reaching a final decision on benefit entitlement. 

Sleep Apnea Disability

You should make sure that all information and details relevant to your disability are clearly provided with the application. This information should include detailed medical documentation since the start of treatment for your ailment. There are many other important details to remember when you begin the process.

Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing briefly while you are asleep. It affects an estimated 22 million Americans. When you have this issue, your airway becomes blocked as your body relaxes during sleep, limiting air flow to your lungs. 

It is characterized by loud snoring and frequent choking noises, deprives your brain and body of oxygen, resulting in frequent awakenings throughout the night. It could happen a few times per night or hundreds of times per night, depending on the circumstances and severity of your particular condition.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types. Each manifests differently in your body. The end result, however, is the same: all three deprive your body of oxygen.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea 

This is the most common type of sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat muscles relax, preventing oxygen from reaching your lungs.

  • Central sleep apnea 

This is a less common version of the condition. It happens when your brain fails to properly signal the muscles in your body that control your breathing.

  • Complex sleep apnea

This is the least common of the three. It is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. This occurs when a person exhibits symptoms of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Complications

Although many people are unaware that they have sleep apnea, some people have severe cases in which they are constantly awakened by breathing disruptions and get very little sleep. Even if people with this condition are not aware of their sleep disruptions, they are frequently tired during the day.

What are the main triggers of sleep apnea?

Several factors contribute to the development of sleep apnea in humans. This includes everything from your bodyweight to the formation and shape of your tongue. 

  • Smoking and alcohol are also linked to a variety of breathing issues and can act as a trigger for this disease’s symptoms.
  • Breathing patterns are also affected by age. As you get older, your brain’s ability to send signals to your throat muscles, causing them to stay stiff while you sleep, deteriorates. As a result, the airway narrows or collapses, resulting in this condition.
  • Obesity can cause this disease because soft fat tissue thickens the walls of the windpipe, obstructing the airway.
  • The size of your tongue can also cause breathing obstruction. If the tongue is thicker or more significant than the opening in the windpipe, it will obstruct the passage of air into the windpipe, making breathing difficult while sleeping.
  • A deviated septum could be a significant reason behind this disease in a person. Deviated septum is caused by a deviated bone and cartilage (septum) that divides the nasal cavity in half and is off-center or crooked. This interferes with your normal breathing. This disease, on the other hand, is only caused by severe septal imbalances.

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Sleep Apnea?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) no longer lists sleep apnea as a disability, but it does list breathing disorders, heart problems, and mental deficits. You might automatically qualify for disability benefits if you meet the listing criteria for a diagnosed disease related to or caused by sleep apnea. 

Severe cognitive deficits, mood disturbances, and behavioral issues, chronic pulmonary hypertension, and chronic heart failure are some diseases that are related to sleep apnea that might meet the criteria of disability for sleep apnea.

To be eligible for benefits under this list, you must be able to demonstrate that you have either:

  • A loss of at least 15 I.Q. points, memory problems, or thinking disturbances, such as hallucinations or disorientation as to time or place, that cause restrictions in your daily activities, difficulties in concentration or pace, or problems with social functioning.
  • Personality changes associated with mood swings or other mood disorders such as depressive episodes, violent temper, or impulsive behavior that cause limitations in your activities, difficulties getting along with people, difficulties focusing and getting things done, or recurring periods of decompensation (getting worse).
  • A chronic organic mental disorder that has lasted at least two years and has significantly hampered your ability to perform basic work tasks. You must be taking medication or receiving psychosocial support. You must have had repeated, extended episodes of decompensation (or evidence that increasing demands on you, even slightly, will most likely cause you to decompensate) or an inability to function outside of a supportive living environment for at least one year (with the evidence you will continue to need that environment).

If you have this condition but do not meet one of the criteria, the SSA will consider your “residual functional capacity” or RFC. The SSA uses your RFC assessment to determine what kind of work you are still capable of doing despite the limitations imposed by your medical condition.

Do not hesitate to talk with an attorney

When you contact a legal professional for the first time, they will conduct an initial review of your case. Suppose you have never applied for SSI Eligibility and benefits before. In that case, they will determine your chances of success, whether your application has already been denied and, if so, they will look into what went wrong with your application. 

Disability lawyers, especially the more experienced ones, know the system like the back of their hands. They understand what the SSA expects to see and what type of evidence to provide.

They will surely bear a large portion of the burden of gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim. You will not have to worry about how to approach your doctors or what kind of evidence you will need. We can assist you in determining whether you are eligible for SSDI and guide you through this complicated process. You can rely on us to handle all types of disability benefits cases, including benefits at age 50.

We have strategies in place to assist our clients at every stage of the appeals process. While proving a sleep apnea claim can be difficult, our Los Angeles experienced attorneys know what to look for and how to back up your claim.