Sleep Apnea aggravated by PTSD

Discussion in 'PTSD' started by Ruffcreek, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Ruffcreek

    Ruffcreek New Member

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    I am a Viet Nam vet who received a combined 60% rating in 2006. This includes Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Tinnitus and PTSD. I have had many sleepless nights since being discharged in 1971. My physician wants me to have a sleep study done for Sleep Apnea.

    Assuming I am diagnosed with Sleep Apnea could I submit a claim with Sleep Apnea as secondary to either the Diabetes or the PTSD? Suppose I filed a claim as Sleep Apnea aggravated by PTSD? Is this something that would be worth pursuing?

    Thanks for any comments.
  2. Vike17

    Vike17 Member

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    Ruffcreek,

    You'll need a medical opinion from a doctor making the connection between the two. There are studies that have suggested such a connection (central Sleep apnea), but a doctor will need to make the connection between YOUR PTSD and YOUR Sleep apnea. Anything short of this and the VA will deny the claim.

    Vike 17
  3. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    Ruffcreek, I went through one of those test from my caretaker on Ptsd and was giving a machine to use at night to help sleep. I didn't get service-connected for that but I do know that some have. RainVet
  4. Vike17

    Vike17 Member

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    I think I said this in another thread. There is medical litrature supporting a medical nexus between PTSD and central sleep apnea. There are two types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is what the name inplies, something is obstructing the airways. Central sleep apnea is where there is a malfunction with the central nervous system, hence the probable nexus bewteen the two.

    Central Sleep apnea is actual pretty rare and the obstructive type is the most common.

    Simply ask your doctor which type you have and if there is a nexus between two!

    Vike 17
  5. burnskp5

    burnskp5 New Member

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    I just came from my doctors office last week. He said my PTSD is becoming more acute because of the sleep apnea. I see a VA for asthma. He said sleep apnea does not cause PTSD, but the real issue is it does aggravate it. I think that is the real issue for a claim.
  6. whiskeymedic

    whiskeymedic New Member

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    info LONG LIST OF STUDIES THAT CONNECT PTSD TO MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS

    Hi folks, I've been here before asking for info on this subject and gotten excellent advice, so first let me say thank you to those who have responded!
    I have a long list of studies for you showing a connection between PTSD and many health problems. Use this info to convince your doctors; because I just had the Chief of a VA Sleep Center tell me he never heard of such a thing! If you can't convince one doctor, then go to another! Sure, you might have to spend some money, but if you get a higher rating you'll get paid back the first month! Here is a letter I wrote in response:

    Dear Dr %$#; If you are not aware, VA compensation is decided by people with zero medical training, so without a written medical opinion layed out basic language, there is not much hope - My request for compensation for sleep apnea was denied by the VA because they said I did not suffer from sleep apnea while on active duty. So it is imperative that I show that it MAY be a result of changes to the body that can occur as a result of PTSD.

    That is what I am asking for, a medical opinion that it is a possibility. According to my Veterans Service Officer, who is an expert on filing claims, here are examples: "a distinct possiblity" or "in all probability has aggravated the obstructive sleep apnea." or "it is certainly as likely as not that this veteran's sleep apnea is directly related to his PTSD." would satisfy the VA's Appeal Board.

    Here is the Official Veterans Affairs website dedicated specifically for Clinicians.
    PTSD101: Home
    This website contains an online presentation for medical professionals entitled "PTSD 101"

    But before you even look at that, here are direct quotes from Department of Veteran Affairs own website:
    "PTSD is linked to structural neurochemical changes in the central nervous system, which may have a direct biological effect on health. Such health effects may include vulnerability to hypertension and atherosclerotic heart disease; abnormalities in thyroid and hormone functions; increased susceptibility to infections and immunologic disorders; and problems with pain perception, pain tolerance, and chronic pain. PTSD is associated with significant behavioral health risks,including smoking, poor nutrition, conflict or violence in intimate relationships, and anger or hostility. When trauma leads to PTSD or other posttraumatic psychosocial problems, this places great biological strain upon the body and psychological strain upon the individual and his or her interpersonal relationships. It is, therefore, not surprising that trauma survivors, especially those with lasting PTSD symptoms, frequently report high rates of problems with physical health . These problems usually involve a variety of bodily systems including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems."..............
    This quote may found at Trauma, PTSD, and the Primary Care Provider - (National Center for PTSD)

    and, the following quote may be found in VA Publication: "Iraq War Clinician Guide"
    located at Published Materials (National Center for PTSD)

    "Be aware of how trauma may impact on medical care
    The specific health problems associated with PTSD are varied and suggest multiple etiologies;
    neurobiological, psychological, and behavioral factors are likely explanations. Research has
    increasingly demonstrated that PTSD can lead to neurobiological dysregulation, altering the
    functioning of catecholamine, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocorticoid, endogenous opioid,
    thyroid, immune, and neurotransmitter systems.
    • Exposure to traumatic stress is associated with increased health complaints, health service
    utilization, morbidity, and mortality.
    • PTSD appears to be a key mechanism that accounts for the association between trauma and
    poor health.
    • PTSD and exposure to traumatic experiences are associated with a variety of healththreatening
    behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use, risky sexual practices, and suicidal
    ideation and gestures.
    • PTSD is associated with an increased number of both lifetime and current physical symptoms,
    and PTSD severity is positively related to self-reports of physical conditions."...............

    The specific quote is located in Chapter 7, which may be viewed at http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/ncdocs/manuals/iraq_clinician_guide_ch_7.pdf


    Here is a list of studies, papers, and appeals relating long term health effects directly to PTSD;
    The following contains 14 different reports found directly from the VA website PILOTS database and all were conducted by various VA locations.

    Phila VA Study Error
    Coatsville VA Study SpringerLink - Journal Article
    Rapid eye movement sleep disturbance in posttraumatic stress disorder.
    http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/nc_archives/rsch_qtly/V7N3.pdf?opm=1&rr=rr185&srt=d&echorr=true
    IngentaConnect Effects of comorbid diagnoses on sleep disturbance in PTSD
    War-Zone-Related Stress Reactions: What Families Need to Know - (National Center for PTSD)
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Sleep Apnea, Apolipoprotein E (APOE), and Cognition - Full Text View - ClinicalTrials.gov
    http://psy.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/39/2/168.pdf
    Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Sleep Apnea, Apolipoprotein E (APOE), and...
    CDC NIOSH Science Blog: Police and Stress
    can sleep problems from ptsd develope into sleep apnea?
    http://www.va.gov/vetapp01/files01/0102100.txt
    http://www.va.gov/vetapp04/files4/0431117.txt
    Effects of a brief behavioral treatment for PTSD-related sleep disturbances : A pilot study
    Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies
    Rapid eye movement sleep disturbance in posttrauma...[Biol Psychiatry. 1994] - PubMed Result
  7. redacevet

    redacevet New Member

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    I have obstructive sleep apnea but I wonder if it possible to have both kinds. My health care provider said that I needed to get screened for PTSD. Your posts have got me to thinking that if I do have PTSD that I might get compensated for the apnea. They denied my case also on the same grounds as Ruffcreeks.
  8. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    There are no accepted links between Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and PTSD. My understanding is that Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) has links/ I believe you can have both OSA and CSA simultaneously. That would be a question for your doctor, though.
  9. Ruffcreek

    Ruffcreek New Member

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    I was recently granted sc for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) aggravated by PTSD.

    I did submit a letter from my doctor connecting the two.

    He is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist and Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. (Be sure he states this in his letter)

    He stated: "It is my opinion that it is at least as likely as not that Mr. XXXX sleep apnea is aggravated by his service connected posttraumatic stress disorder. I also feel that it it at least as likely as not the Mr. XXXX posttraumatic stress disorder is aggravated by his obstructive sleep apnea."

    Additionally I brought to him for review and had him state in his letter that he has personally reviewed my medical history including SMR's, C-file and C & P exams for sleep apnea, progress notes listing current medications.

    Ruffcreek
  10. whiskeymedic

    whiskeymedic New Member

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    Ruffcreek - can i get your doc's address?!?!

    I am trying for the same thing, but I have run into a wall with the Chief of the VA Sleep Center - he gave me a letter stating that the ptsd aggravates my sleep apnea, that's all (I have not submitted it to the VA yet) - I was wondering if I might get the name and address of your doc, I can send all my records and maybe get a second opinion to submit to the VA instead of the one from the VA doc. I would appreciate this very much !
  11. Julian

    Julian New Member

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  12. Julian

    Julian New Member

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    I too have Sleep Apnea Tinnitus,PTSD,Diabetes never damage I had to go through a battery of test. And they still got me at 20% diabilty
  13. Frank Sanchez

    Frank Sanchez New Member

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  14. Frank Sanchez

    Frank Sanchez New Member

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    Can you make a copy of the nexus letter available
  15. Jamesc1983

    Jamesc1983 New Member

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    Yes Please. Would also like to see. Thank you.
  16. glmorrissr

    glmorrissr New Member

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    Ruffcreek, are going to make the letter available? I'm also curious to send as example to my doctor.

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