Sleep Apnea – Overview
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient’s breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. A person with sleep apnea will cease breathing for a period of time, maybe up to a minute, during a normal six to eight hour period of sleep. This occurs when airways become obstructed, frequently as a result of a collapse of tissue in the back of the throat.
After a while, breathing will resume, frequently with a loud noise called snoring. While the brain attempts to reintroduce airflow, the body is depleted of oxygen, and the individual may awaken or experience shallow sleep.
Because sleep apnea significantly reduces the quality of sleep and the individual may be awakened multiple times during the night, those with sleep apnea may still feel weary after a night’s sleep. Additionally, the individual may fall asleep during awake hours as a result of the disease preventing them from receiving enough sleep.
The three primary kinds of sleep apnea are as follows:
- Obstructive Sleep apnea. This is the most prevalent. The muscles in the back of the throat relax and close off the airway.
- Sleep apnea in the central nervous system. During this stage, the brain ceases to transmit signals to the lungs to breathe. Typically, this occurs as a result of disease.
- Complex obstructive sleep apnea syndrome This type combines obstructive and central sleep apneas.
Snoring (which can be disruptive to couples) and feeling weary after a night’s sleep are two of the most prevalent symptoms. Sleep apnea has been blamed for occurrences both on and off the job, as well as traffic and vehicular accidents. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, sleeplessness, and post-wake headaches. Many people have this for a long period of time, and some have it permanently. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, more than 18 million people in the United States suffer with sleep apnea.
Is Sleep Apnea a Medical Condition?
Sleep apnea is not considered a disability by the Social Security Administration. Sleep apnea is no longer listed as a handicap. If you have sleep apnea and can demonstrate that you are unable to work full-time due to your disease, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
If your sleep apnea meets the criteria for other categories in the SSA’s Blue Book, such as breathing disorders or heart disorders, the SSA will consider your sleep apnea a disability, and you will be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Sleep Apnea Medically Qualifying
You must match your condition to a Blue Book entry to be eligible for Social Security payments if you have sleep apnea. The Blue Book, which is a document that lists all of the conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Adult impairments are covered in Section A of the Blue Book.
Section 3.10, titled Sleep Related Breathing Disorders, discusses sleep apnea. Sleep apnea symptoms are assessed under section 3.09, which deals with pulmonary artery pressure.
They’re also assessed under section 12.02, which deals with mental health issues.
If a person’s pulmonary artery pressure is greater than 40 mm Hg, they may be eligible for benefits. This could be accomplished by seeing a doctor and having your blood pressure examined, as sleep apnea can affect your blood pressure.
Another requirement is that you have chronic pulmonary illness. This is one of various conditions that restrict the airway and make it difficult to breathe.
Sleep apnea symptoms are also included in Section 12.02. This section discusses some of the emotional and psychological signs and symptoms that a sleep apnea patient may be experiencing. It records memory loss, as well as disorientation, personality and mood shifts, and other symptoms.
Obtaining Disability Benefits
Before applying, get a proper diagnosis of sleep apnea, just like any other disease. A polysomnogram, which is a sleep study that transmits information about breathing patterns and other information while you sleep, can be used to identify this.
A claimant has three alternatives when it comes to applying for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration can be reached at 1-800-772-1213. On weekdays, this line is open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance can also apply online. Claimants prefer this strategy because it is more convenient.
Last but not least, you can go to a Social Security office and fill out papers there. However, you must make an appointment. Once you’re done submitting your application, you should hear back within 3 to 5 months.