Some veteran disabilities are more obvious than others. It is easy for an outsider to understand that an amputation or a head injury was the direct result of a soldier’s sacrifices for our country, but other aftereffects of serving in the military are more difficult to understand. One of these afflictions is sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which breaths are missed during sleep, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain and disturbing sleep problems.  Sleep apnea has been linked with high blood pressure, heart problems, fatigue, headaches, snoring, daytime drowsiness, and memory problems. While sleep apnea can be caused by obesity, age, or a deviated septum, medical experts believe that sleep apnea can also be caused by long-term exposure to dust, chemicals, and other environments that military men are often exposed to.

Statistics say that up to 20 percent of United States veterans suffer from sleep apnea, while only about five percent of the general population has been diagnosed with the sleep condition. In 2010, over 60,000 veterans applied for disability benefits for their sleep apnea condition. Many predict this number will only go up, both as older veterans age and as more men and women come home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are veteran that suffers from sleep apnea because of your time serving with the military, you could be eligible for VA disability benefits that would cover your related medical costs. Talk to a VA disability lawyer today about your sleep apnea condition.