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View Full Version : sleep apnea


C37AFE
04-02-2018, 04:55 PM
So I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2015 while in the military. In 2017 they had me reevaluated and said it was just snoring. A second opinion concurred that is was snoring. I applied and received a class 1 submitting this documentation back in December. I have since applied for VA disability and submitted the sleep apnea studies.

I am looking at getting on at a regional. As of hiring and my next medical I will not have my disability claim from the VA. My concern is while my last 2 visits say it's snoring. What is the correct route if the VA awards sleep apnea. Seems like a catch-22 bind. Do I let airline know while in training? MedExpress asks if you have a disability. I don't want to fly "with a known medical condition" and lose license/job over it. However, the diagnosis is snoring....I know I can get a special issuance, but won't that ground med for a few months.... I use CPAP once in a while but not at required VA rates.

Thoughts.


rickair7777
04-02-2018, 06:36 PM
Pretty Dangerous.

The VA will likely try to be "helpful" and maximize your rating, which may well cross the threshold to a diagnosis. If that gets put on paper, good luck sorting it out.

I would try to avoid a sleep apnea like the plague. Airline pay is a lot better than VA disability.

Or just roll with sleep apnea and accept that there will be FAA hoops. But be very careful trying to have your cake and eat it too. If there's any grey area at all, note it on your FAA medical form in writing. That would at least prevent any fraud issues.

The DoD/VA are pretty loosey-goosey with medical stuff like this. The FAA will go hard-over on you.

sherpster
04-02-2018, 06:45 PM
Be honest. It will come out. 5 ahi is the sleep apnea limit. Tell the faa, they will give you 90 days to get treated (if required).


SonicFlyer
04-02-2018, 09:20 PM
Or just roll with sleep apnea and accept that there will be FAA hoops.

First off, ask your AME.

Sleep apnea will require you to use a CPAP/Auto/Bi/PAP machine the vast majority of the time while sleeping. You'll have to get the data in your machine read once a year by your pulmonoligist and he'll just have to sign a form saying you are compliant. Really no big deal once you get used to sleeping with it (and hauling it around with you).

Excargodog
04-02-2018, 09:40 PM
First off, ask your AME.

Sleep apnea will require you to use a CPAP/Auto/Bi/PAP machine the vast majority of the time while sleeping. You'll have to get the data in your machine read once a year by your pulmonoligist and he'll just have to sign a form saying you are compliant. Really no big deal once you get used to sleeping with it (and hauling it around with you).

Assuming the diagnosis is correct, which it may well not be.

Applying for the VA disability was an incredibly unwise thing to do, however, because you have now claimed - officially - that the diagnosis IS true, and will now have to deal with the consequences. You cannot tell the federal government - even the VA - that you have a disability while telling the federal government - the FAA - that you DON'T have a disability.
That's just too easy for the lawyers.


But given that you now have to report it, this is where you are going:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/media/OSA%20Spec%20Sheet%20A%20-%20Information%20request.pdf

Excargodog
04-02-2018, 09:53 PM
Pretty Dangerous.


I would try to avoid a sleep apnea like the plague.

A sleep apnea diagnosis is far worse. A short course of antibiotics will cure the plague, and the FAA won't even care.

Giving someone a statement of demonstrated ability for a diagnosis of sleep apnea requires some high level civil service doc in the federal air surgeon's office to stick his/her professional neck out for a person with a diagnosis whose criteria includes daytime sleepiness, unrefreshing sleep, fatigue, insomnia, or unintentional sleep episodes during wakefulness. Him/her doing that, IF THE VA HAS ALREADY ACCEPTED THE CLAIM AND AWARDED DISABILITY, raises the ante even higher.

C37AFE
04-03-2018, 05:39 AM
I further looked into this and found this

https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=18156


Looks like if I get it (I did submit my last two sleep apnea tests that said I didnít have it to the va) I have to inform faa and have 90 days to show treatment works. That doesnít seem so bad. Iíve done 4 tests over the years for the military where they gave me the okAy to Fly. Initial. The second said I was on edge of even needing coal and let two, again saying I didnít have.

I think it was more of a weight issue as I lost weight and thatís when they said I was good. This is what docs said also. Another point Iíve made while being treated is I get up at night at times to give my special needs kid meds, etc as a possible reason for tiredness which the docs also agreed. Iíve since worked out his daily routine to allow a full night sleep.

I talked to many faa ameís about this and they all just said Iíd be fine and worse case get a special issuance.

yassine
01-26-2019, 11:11 PM
if apnea hypopnea index (http://sleep-land.com/apnea-hypopnea-index-and-rdi)
5< Means: Normal/no sleep apnea.
5 Ė 14 Means: Mild sleep apnea.
15 Ė 29 Means: Moderate sleep apnea.
30 and above Means: Severe sleep apnea.

RadialGal
01-26-2019, 11:51 PM
Fellow flier,

I am not saying this is true; but after the whole "Folks flying while on VA 'disability' while flying 121 Goat Rodeo." I'd imagine they are looking to nail a few more to the wall before they let this go.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone in OKC went rooting for some easy snags, saw your claim and figured you were one of those guys claiming you aren't disabled to the FAA to get an easy class 1, while claiming you ARE disabled to the Military to get some $$$ from Uncle Sam. Long shot......yes, but no way I'd risk a career on it. Look at what they did to the poor Ba$tard they caught at Delta. Never mind it's Depression, from what I've seen, a lie is a lie in OKC's eyes.

https://www.foxnews.com/travel/delta-air-lines-pilot-grounded-for-concealing-major-depressive-disorder-to-keep-flying

Be Carefull, you are on thin ice now my friend.

Keep the oily side down!

and.......Ad astra!

RadialGal

AAfng
01-27-2019, 05:50 AM
Anything you told the va needs to be told to the faa. They must match up. Do the right thing.

JohnBurke
01-27-2019, 07:21 AM
So I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2015 while in the military. In 2017 they had me reevaluated and said it was just snoring. A second opinion concurred that is was snoring. I applied and received a class 1 submitting this documentation back in December. I have since applied for VA disability and submitted the sleep apnea studies.

I am looking at getting on at a regional. As of hiring and my next medical I will not have my disability claim from the VA. My concern is while my last 2 visits say it's snoring. What is the correct route if the VA awards sleep apnea. Seems like a catch-22 bind. Do I let airline know while in training? MedExpress asks if you have a disability. I don't want to fly "with a known medical condition" and lose license/job over it. However, the diagnosis is snoring....I know I can get a special issuance, but won't that ground med for a few months.... I use CPAP once in a while but not at required VA rates.

Thoughts.

First of all, thank you for attempting to use my taxpayer dollars to award you money for the sleep apnea that you were re-diagnosed as not having...but don't remotely try to suggest that the military gave you sleep apnea, and therefore you should get paid for it as a "disability." This sickens me. It really does.

Second of all, you're on the one hand trying to say to the FAA that you have no sleep apnea and call it snoring, and on the other bilk the department of defense for disabiliity because you say you do. How do you spell fraud?

Third, you need to discuss this with the AME who is going to be issuing your medical, but be aware that if you claim sleep apnea, you're going to be referred over for testing and evaluation on your dime and it will impact you going forward. You can certainly get a medical if you have sleep apnea, but it may be delayed six months and may come with conditions.

You may wish to consult with a group that specializes in this sort of thing. Leftseat.com is one such place, and has information on their website.

AAfng
01-27-2019, 04:29 PM
You dont need to consult with leftseat.com or anyone. Just be honest and if you have sleep apnea then go ahead and file for it and deal with the FAA. If you dont have sleep apnea then dont file for disability. Boom, done. People make this crap so hard when it isnt. There are a lot of pilots with sleep apnea, not a big deal. I am on a Special Issuance right now, I wear a oral device.

RadialGal
01-28-2019, 03:08 PM
Bet ya 5 bucks he's some fat-ass Millennial looking for some fast Cash and JUST realized the **** he stepped in.


Good luck Bud

Hope we never share a cockpit, I prefer my pilots honest

RadialGal

Rama
01-31-2019, 06:26 PM
I would think applying for disability on false grounds would prove to be lack of character.
Canʻt remember the ATP FAR verbatim. but I do remember something about good moral character or something along those lines.

Excargodog
02-10-2019, 09:30 AM
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/21/veterans-administration-sleep-apnea/9291425/

Some excerpts:

Veterans with sleep apnea are considered by the Department of Veterans affairs to be 50% disabled if they need a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to get a good night's sleep.

Nearly nine of 10 veterans receiving compensation are considered 50% disabled by the condition, in which breathing ceases during sleep. For a single veteran without dependents, the monthly payment is $822.15 for a disability rating of 50%.

By comparison, a soldier or Marine who loses a leg below the knee while serving, and receives prosthesis can be attached, they are considered 40% disabled, which qualifies them for a $577.54 monthly payment. All amputees also receive an additional $101 a month, according to the VA.


A change in federal law in 2004, phased in over 10 years and fully implemented in January, also allows veterans who qualify for retirement pay to receive their pensions and disability compensation. Prior to the change in law, the disability compensation had offset pension payments. To receive both payments, a veteran must be considered at least 50% disabled

JohnBurke
02-12-2019, 05:07 AM
So...get a leg blown off on a mine, and it's 40% disabled.

Not getting a good night's sleep...50%.

So the original poster has a financial incentive to bilk the government for money, even while the military tells him that he's only snoring...and after he's done ripping off the taxpayer, he wants to shovel it all under the carpet so it won't interfere with his flying.

Nice racket.

stabapch
02-13-2019, 05:01 PM
So...get a leg blown off on a mine, and it's 40% disabled.

Not getting a good night's sleep...50%.

Nice racket.

If someone is truly diagnosed with sleep apnea, medical studies prove that itís the equivalent of waking up every 30 seconds. Thatís a fact.

Have you ever stayed up all night on zero sleep and then tried to perform a cognitive heavy task? Iím sure you have and you probably didnít do so well. You wouldnít know though because youíre not aware.

Medical researchers have linked the effects of fatigue to the effects of hypoxia. Theyíre proven to be identical. Due to this, I would agree that sleep apnea is definitely a serious disability.

You can always continue on in a somewhat Ďnormalí life with missing limbs. However, if youíre constantly in a Ďdrunkení state due to sleep apnea, not so much.

To the OP, talk to your AME. The only thing the FAA cares about is successful continued treatment.

C17B74
02-13-2019, 10:31 PM
If a pilot has been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, I would prefer/hope/pray they have that machine tethered to them and be ready to perform.

If you donít officially have it, donít claim it.

If you donít have it but it helps you gain meaningful rest, by all means buy one. I fly with several folks who carry/use them and havenít been tested. That is between them and their AME. None of my business.

Excargodog
02-13-2019, 10:31 PM
If someone is truly diagnosed with sleep apnea, medical studies prove that itís the equivalent of waking up every 30 seconds. Thatís a fact.

Not exactly. According to WebMD the currently accepted criteria are:

Normal sleep: Fewer than 5 events per hour
Mild sleep apnea: 5 to 14 events per hour
Moderate sleep apnea: 15 to 29 events per hour
Severe sleep apnea: 30 or more events per hour





Medical researchers have linked the effects of fatigue to the effects of hypoxia. Theyíre proven to be identical.. For very severe cases, thatís true. For the vast majority of cases, that is not true. For anyone who can meet FAA criteria for a Special Issuance it is not true.

Due to this, I would agree that sleep apnea is definitely a serious disability. . The Social security administration disagrees. They generally do not grant disability to most people with CPAP controlled OSA unless they have another complicating issue such as a heart condition. Like the FAA, they do not consider it disabling. In fact, pretty much nobody else grants disability by the extremely loose criteria used by the VA EXCEPT the VA.

However, if youíre constantly in a Ďdrunkení state due to sleep apnea, not so much.

If you are constantly in a Ďdrunkení state due to sleep apnea you donít meet FAA criteria for special issuance.

To the OP, talk to your AME. The only thing the FAA cares about is successful continued treatment.

Not exactly. They ADDITIONALLY want you to be able to document to THEM that your treatment is successful since they are the ones certifying your medical qualification to fly.

CX500T
02-18-2019, 02:31 PM
So I'm actually going to get a sleep study tonight.

I broke my neck/back in 2003.. Haven't slept straight thru the night since. For years the docs have thought it was just the back/neck. Yes, the FAA knows all about that injury, I have jumped through the hoops to get a first class back.

Fast forward to 2018.. I'm gaining weight with no reason (I'm a gym rat, eat reasonably well).

After running about 100 tests, my endocrinologist thinks it may be sleep apnea elevating my cortisol levels. I'm going just to have it ruled out. I do snore like a banshee, just ask the poor bastard who moved in above me in the crash pad, but nobody has ever said I stop breathing, gasp for air, etc.

If I come out of the study saying I need a CPAP / have OSA, I've read some things that say you must notify FAA and submit stuff within 90.

I've read other things that say I am grounded and need 30 days CPAP usage before the FAA will consider reinstating my medical.

I'm honestly confused as to which is correct.

Currently:
40 years old.
Delta Pilot
I'm 6'5" 290#. I was 255 (not fat at sub 260) a year ago before this **** started up.
No SIs. The last go round with the FAA got them to where my orthopedic injuries are PRNC every year now.

No health problems other than the weight gain.
No medications.
Blood Pressure is 110/75
Cholesterol and other blood work is normal.

Do I go out on sick/disability while the FAA gets data?
Do I keep on flying while using a CPAP?

I've seen conflicting stuff. Going to call ALPA Aeromedical to get their opinion.

JohnBurke
02-18-2019, 03:29 PM
Welcome to middle age.



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