Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that a lot of people suffer from. If you have this condition, you repeatedly experience disrupted breathing during your sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a common type of sleep apnea. This condition can cause serious health problems, such as cognitive impairments, that stop you from being productive every day. It can make it hard for you to excel at work or do something fulfilling. That is why OSA can be one of the conditions that qualify for LTD.
Why OSA is a Serious Health Concern
OSA takes place when your throat muscles relax excessively while you are asleep. As a result, the soft tissue at your throat’s back part obstructs the airway. The repeated stops in your breathing can be accompanied by loud snoring. OSA can go unnoticed for many years. A lot of those who have this condition think that their symptoms are typical fatigue or snoring, not knowing the underlying problem. But OSA can affect your mental and physical health. Aside from direct symptoms like irritability, headaches, and excessive sleepiness, unmanaged sleep apnea can increase your risk of diabetes, chronic pulmonary hypertension, liver issues, and chronic heart failure.
If you have, you need to be aware of the impacts of this condition on your cognitive function. If your breathing stops during your sleep many times, your blood’s oxygen levels decrease. Such oxygen deprivation can eventually cause damage to your brain, resulting in cognitive impairments like problems with concentration, mood regulation, and memory. In addition, OSA can present cognitive symptoms that impact your everyday life and professional performance.
Why It’s Hard to Get Long-Term Disability Benefits for OSA
While OSA has disabling symptoms and complications, securing disability benefits for this condition is often challenging. Your symptoms may be invisible, so it can be hard to get objective medical evidence of your condition. Headaches, irritability, and excessive fatigue are self-reported or discovered in clinical evaluations instead of objective medical tests. As a result, insurance providers may question your disability claim.
In addition, insurers usually reduce or ignore the effects of OSA’s emotional and cognitive symptoms when they evaluate your claim. So, to bolster your disability claim, you must have an attorney on your side to help you collect sufficient medical evidence, including records of doctor’s appointments, sleep apnea study results, and notes from doctors. Your attorney can explain what your disability insurance policy covers and the steps you can take to increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you deserve.