Sphenoid sinusitis, inflammation in the solitary sphenoid sinus, may last 12 weeks or longer. In addition to the typical nose symptoms, this kind of rhinosinusitis may also appear in a variety of other serious ways.
Veterans with sphenoid sinusitis must understand how VA disability ratings are calculated. Let's get into the specifics to help you in figuring out the VA disability system.
What is Sphenoid Sinusitis?
The sphenoid sinuses are an important part of nasal health; they are a group of paranasal sinuses housed in the sphenoid bone, which is placed behind the nose and between the eyes. Sinuses have specialized cells that produce mucus, which keeps the nasal passages moist and facilitates breathing.
Unlike other types of sinusitis, sphenoid sinusitis offers a specific set of symptoms. Intense headaches, visual problems including loss of vision or diplopia (double vision), and soreness behind the eyes are common symptoms, while nasal obstructions or discharges may or may not be present. Patients may also report other symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and neck discomfort.
VA Disability Ratings
Sphenoid sinusitis may have a significant effect on a veteran's quality of life and may be eligible for disability benefits. Sphenoid sinusitis may cause mild to severe impairment. Hence, the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) has established a range of disability ratings to account for this.
- 50% Disability Rating: A 50% disability rating may be appropriate for a veteran who has undergone radical surgery for chronic osteomyelitis (bone infection) related to sphenoid sinusitis or who suffers from near-constant sinusitis characterized by persistent headaches, sinus pain, tenderness, and recurring purulent (pus-filled) discharge or crusting after multiple surgeries.
- 30% Disability Rating: A 30% disability rating may be appropriate for veterans who suffer from chronic sinusitis, defined as three or more incapacitating episodes per year characterized by headaches, pain, and purulent discharge or crusting, or more than six non-incapacitating episodes per year.
- 10% Disability Rating: A 10% disability rating may be granted to veterans who suffer from three to six non-incapacitating episodes of sinusitis per year, each of which is accompanied by headaches, pain, and purulent discharge or crusting.
- 0% Disability Rating: An X-ray-only diagnosis of sphenoid sinusitis without evidence of significant functional impairment may merit a 0% disability rating and acknowledgment without financial compensation.
Navigating the Claims Process
Gather detailed medical documentation that describes the severity and frequency of your sphenoid sinusitis symptoms and help make the process of filing a claim go as smoothly as possible. Collaborate closely with your healthcare practitioner to draw a direct line between your disease and the changes it has caused in your life as you go forward.
Veterans seeking just compensation ratings must have a firm grasp of how VA disability ratings for sphenoid sinusitis are calculated. Sphenoid sinusitis may have a significant influence on a person's quality of life, but navigating the VA system can seem daunting unless you have the correct knowledge and support.