Citation Nr: 18160550
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/27/18

DOCKET NO. 17-03 873
DATE:	December 27, 2018

Service connection for sleep apnea is remanded.
The Veteran served on active duty from June 1982 to January 2010.  
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from a May 2016 rating decision of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO).
The Veteran initially only sought an evaluation for his sleep apnea through VA.  His claim was characterized as one of compensation.  Because the Veteran proceeded with his appeal, the Board presumes that he now seeks service connection for sleep apnea.
The Board cannot make a fully-informed decision on the issue of service connection for sleep apnea because the Veteran has not been afforded a VA examination on the issue.  The Veteran recently submitted a home sleep study which reports a diagnosis of sleep apnea.  In an October 2008 Report of Medical History, the Veteran reported difficulty sleeping for a couple of years.
The Veteran asserted that sleep apnea was not discussed with, and “perhaps [was] suppressed” by, the physician during his retirement physical. The Veteran’s wife claims he had sleep apnea while on active duty and afterwards. She reported that he has had issues with sound sleep, tossing and turning, excessively loud snoring, and two issues of waking up choking unable to breathe.  She asserted that sleep issues were not questioned or discussed in the Veteran’s retirement physical. She further reported that the most significant issues happened in the last two years.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any obstructive sleep apnea.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including with respect to the Veteran’s reports on a Report of Medical History near his retirement that he had trouble sleeping.  
A rationale for all conclusions must be provided.  If the examiner cannot render an opinion without resort to speculation, the examiner must state this and provide a rationale for such conclusion.  
(Continued on the next page)
2. If upon completion of the above action any benefit sought on appeal remains denied, the case should be returned to the Board after compliance with appellate procedure.
Acting Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	A. Rocktashel, Counsel

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