Dr. Joshua Bratt RVC Dentist

143 N Long Beach Rd, Suite 3, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

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Is Sleep Apnea a Disability?

Do you often feel exhausted during the day, even after a full night? You may be suffering from sleep apnea, a serious medical condition that can affect your ability to work and perform daily tasks.


If your sleep apnea is severe enough, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.


The Social Security Administration has specific criteria for determining eligibility for disability benefits related to sleep apnea.


These criteria include the severity and frequency of symptoms, as well as the impact on your ability to function. If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help cover medical expenses and support your daily living needs.


Understanding Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Causes


Do you frequently snore, gasp for air, or wake up feeling exhausted? You may have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes interruptions in your breathing during sleep.


These interruptions can also lead to chronic fatigue, insomnia, and daytime drowsiness.


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder classified into two main types: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA).


  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type and occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite the effort to breathe. This results in a physical blockage of the airway, leading to loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is less common and occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. This can result in periods of shallow breathing or even complete cessation of breathing during sleep.
  • Finally, complex sleep apnea is a condition in which a person suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea simultaneously. It is essential to get a proper medical diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea to manage the condition effectively and improve overall health and well-being.


Ignoring the symptoms of sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.


If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it’s essential to seek medical attention and get the necessary treatment to minimize the risk of complications.


Best Position to Sleep with Sleep Apnea?


Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being.


Calm Your Sleep Apnea with Right Side Sleeping


However, the position you sleep in can play a significant role in the quality of your sleep. This is especially true for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


If you suffer from OSA, your sleep position can impact the frequency and intensity of apnea episodes during the night. Apnea episodes are short periods, up to 10 seconds long, where breathing stops and can occur up to 30 times an hour.


Is Sleep Apnea Genetic or Are There Other Factors at Play?


One of the questions that often arise in discussions about sleep apnea is whether or not the disorder is genetic.


In other words, is sleep apnea something that is passed down from parents to their children, or is it something that develops due to other factors?


Experts estimate that about 40% of differences in the number of times people stop breathing (Apnea Hypopnea Index or AHI) as they sleep is due to genetics.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that snoring and Sleep Apnea may cause:


The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. While there is no doubt that genetics can play a role in the development of sleep apnea, the disorder is not solely determined by one’s genetic makeup.


In fact, a number of other factors can also contribute to the development of sleep apnea including:


  • lifestyle choices
  • health condition
  • environmental factors

Uncovering the Causes of Sleep Apnea and Effective Treatment Approaches


Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when your breathing is interrupted during sleep. Several factors can contribute to the development of sleep apnea, including:


  1. Overweight or obese: Excess weight can contribute to the narrowing of your airway, making it difficult to breathe properly during sleep. Start an exercise routine.
  2. Large neck size: A thicker neck can also narrow the airway and increase the risk of sleep apnea.
  3. Family history of sleep apnea: If you have a family history of sleep apnea, you may be more likely to develop the condition yourself.
  4. Smoking: Smoking can irritate the airways and lead to inflammation, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.
  5. Alcohol or sedatives: These substances can relax the muscles in the throat, making it more difficult to breathe during sleep.
  6. Nasal congestion: If you have a stuffy nose, you may be more likely to develop sleep apnea as it can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.


It’s important to recognize these risk factors and contact the offices of Joshua Bratt DMD PC medical treatment if you think you may be at risk for sleep apnea.


In some cases, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or a dental appliance may be recommended to keep the airway open during sleep. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove excess tissue or to reposition the jaw to help keep the airway open.


How Sleep Apnea Patients Can Benefit from Social Security Disability


If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are unable to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.


Here are some ways in which Social Security Disability can help sleep apnea sufferers:


  • Monthly cash benefit: If you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits, you will receive a monthly cash benefit to help cover your living expenses. The amount of the benefit depends on your work history and other factors.
  • Health insurance through Medicare: Social Security Disability recipients are eligible for Medicare, which provides health insurance coverage for a range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs.
  • Tax benefits: Social Security Disability benefits may be exempt from federal income tax depending on your income level.
  • Access to free or low-cost medical care: In addition to Medicare, Social Security Disability recipients may also be eligible for Medicaid, which provides free or low-cost medical care for those with limited income and resources.


It’s important to note that applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complex and lengthy process.


Understanding Sleep Apnea as a Disability Eligibility and Benefits


Sleep apnea can be considered a disability under certain circumstances. Here are some key points to consider:


  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes sleep apnea as a potentially disabling condition.
  • To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must have sleep apnea severe enough to impact their ability to work and perform daily activities.
  • The SSA evaluates sleep apnea by considering medical evidence and the severity of the condition’s symptoms, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and cognitive impairment.
  • A person with sleep apnea may be required to undergo a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of the condition.
  • The SSA has established specific guidelines, called the Listing of Impairments, that outline the criteria for qualifying for disability benefits due to sleep apnea.
  • If a person meets the SSA’s criteria for sleep apnea, they may be eligible for disability benefits, including monthly cash payments, health insurance through Medicare, and access to free or low-cost medical care.


It’s important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea will qualify for disability benefits.


The severity of the condition and its impact on a person’s ability to work and function in daily life are the primary considerations for determining eligibility.


Can Sleep Apnea Be Considered a Disability for SSD Benefits?


If you suffer from sleep apnea and are wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD), the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers breathing disorders, heart problems, and mental issues in its listing. Meeting the criteria of an SSD listing due to sleep apnea can make you eligible for disability benefits.


To potentially qualify for SSD, your sleep apnea symptoms must lead to the complications listed below:


  1. Chronic pulmonary hypertension: You may qualify if your mean pulmonary artery pressure is equal to or greater than 40 mm Hg, and your doctor can confirm that this is a stable condition.
  2. Chronic heart failure/cor pulmonale (right-sided heart failure): You’ll need evidence showing that you have chronic heart failure, such as a medical history and physical examination that describes your:
    1. Symptoms and signs of pulmonary congestion
    2. Symptoms and signs of systemic congestion
    3. Limited cardiac output with abnormal findings on medical imaging
  3. Severe cognitive deficits, mood disturbances, or behavioral issues: To qualify for benefits under this listing, you must have neurocognitive disorders caused by mental issues such as memory problems or intellectual difficulties, and your condition must have caused severe documented issues with:
    1. Memory
    2. Paying attention
    3. Judgment
    4. Planning
    5. Using language
    6. Interacting socially


If you believe you may be eligible for SSD, the best course of action is to contact your local Social Security office.


The staff there can help you determine if you meet the requirements for disability benefits.


Schedule an Appointment with Our Specialists


At Joshua Bratt DMD PC, We Can Assist You with Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and SSD Qualification.

If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms that are affecting your work and daily life, schedule an appointment with our team at Joshua Bratt DMD PC.


Dr Joshua Bratt

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