Slepian Smith, PLLC

Cystic fibrosis: a serious illness with demanding treatments

Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic condition that affects numerous organs, including the pancreas, intestines and lungs. It causes mucus to be thick and sticky, which causes clogged airways, lung infections and respiratory failure.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for CF. And because it is a progressive condition, the longer a person has it, the worse his or her symptoms will get.

Symptoms

Symptoms of CF vary from person to person, and they can go through periods of flare-ups. That said, most people experience:

  • A persistent cough
  • Very high levels of salt in their sweat
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Slow growth and delayed development
  • Abdominal pain

Complications

CF can lead to numerous complications, from dehydration to chronic lung infections. People can also suffer liver damage, malnutrition and osteoporosis. These conditions can lead to frequent hospitalizations and severe health problems.

Treatment

Treatment for CF helps minimize symptoms to improve a person's lifestyle. However, it can be time-consuming and require help from others. In many cases, people spend hours every day taking medications, using a nebulizer and going through physical therapy, which can include wearing a vibrating vest to loosen mucus.

CF and disability benefits

Between the symptoms, the complications and the treatment requirements of CF, it can be all but impossible for sufferers to work often and consistently enough to support themselves. 

If CF symptoms, complications and treatment requirements prevent you from working in a regular, continuing capacity, you may want to seriously consider your options for pursuing disability benefits.

Filing for disability benefits is a complicated process, and the SSA is quick to deny claims that it does not think meet the requirements. Rather than give up or try to navigate the system alone and without the benefit of experience, you can work with an attorney who can help you complete a solid application and aggressively pursue the benefits for which you may be eligible.

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