Sleep-related breathing disorders are evaluated under the category of impairments known as the Respiratory System –– Medical Listing 3.10. Sleep-related breathing disorders (sleep apneas) are caused by periodic cessation of respiration associated with hypoxemia and frequent arousals from sleep. Depending on severity, the disturbed sleep pattern and associated chronic nocturnal hypoxemia causes daytime sleepiness with chronic pulmonary hypertension and/or disturbances in cognitive function. Because daytime sleepiness can affect memory, orientation and personality, a longitudinal treatment record may be needed to evaluate mental functioning. Daytime somnolence may be associated with a disturbance in cognitive function, and is then evaluated under the criteria established for organic mental disorders. There also may be a physiologic basis for the sleep-related breathing impairment attributable to chronic cor pulmonale secondary to chronic pulmonary hypertension, which requires documentation by signs and laboratory findings of right ventricular overload or failure. The medical evidence of record should establish that cor pulmonale is chronic and irreversible.
Under age 50
Age 50 or older
Age 55 or older
Over age 60
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