One of the most overlooked areas of disability for vets is the central nervous system. This is due to the warning signs being excused as standalone issues. However, understanding certain symptoms as a reflection of central nervous system disabilities has been increasing steadily since the war in Vietnam, as many vets reported significant differences in their quality of life before and after combat during that period.
In Vietnam, many were exposed to Agent Orange and other substances in the combat environment, which brought new challenges and health issues. This encouraged more in-depth research into neuropathy (nervous system disorders) with vets.
This is important to recognize because it means that there are more treatment options now than ever, and the VA is more open to acknowledging and granting disability to those with neuropathy.
How to know if I qualify for a Nervous System VA Claim?
You may want to get checked up if you’ve been experiencing any of the following symptoms more often since your time of service:
- Pain (including frequent headaches/migraines)
- Tingling sensations
- Burning sensations
- Sensitivity to touch
The differences in symptoms can be attributed to the incredible complexity of the nervous system. The vast amount of different kinds of nerves can lead to many various disabilities.
Broken down, neuropathy has two main distinctions; peripheral and sensory. Both of these can attack our sensory (stimulation), motor (movement), and autonomic (internal organs) systems.
It’s normal for the symptoms of neuropathy to begin in the digits and limbs before progressing to the torso. If it has spread to the autonomic, there may be changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and even digestion. One may also experience onsets of weakness.
If you’ve experienced even the basest of these symptoms, it is recommended to be seen immediately, as neuropathy is often a sign of greater issues. For instance, peripheral neuropathy is often associated with diabetes, cancer, chronic organ disease, and other infectious diseases.
What can be done with nervous system claims?
All of these have the greatest chance of full recovery when caught early. Unfortunately, a great deal of neuropathy cannot be reversed, but the spread of the issues can often be slowed down or stopped completely.
A significant number of veterans have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in regards to neuropathy. Reasons for this include veterans failing to report symptoms or simply attributing their symptoms to aging. Many vets also continue to avoid medical care for fear of being seen as complainers.
On the other hand, the medical community has often failed to pay close attention to the symptoms explained by vets. Usually, the necessary tests are not ordered.
Whatever the reason, many deserving veterans are missing out on benefits for their nervous system disorders.
When filing with the VA, make sure to press the case for all the issues you are experiencing, often, the VA will overlook peripheral neuropathy. Because of the high rate of misdiagnosing, it is imperative that whoever is filing makes it extremely clear the symptoms they are experiencing and the severity of those symptoms.
Since neuropathy is often a reflection of more serious issues, you cannot afford to miss out on the benefits you deserve for your time served.