Challenges to Working With Fibromyalgia


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Brain Fog-Fibromyalgia and Its Link to Challenges at Work

Published on August 16th, 2023 by Eric Slepian

Working with Fibromyalgia: Unraveling the Impact of Fibro Fog

In the realm of Social Security Disability claims, a critical aspect involves the comprehensive evaluation of the claimant’s physical and mental impairments and their combined symptoms. For individuals with fibromyalgia seeking Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, this assessment is of utmost importance.

Our legal team has extensive experience representing SSDI claimants battling this complex and debilitating disease. One crucial element that demands thorough documentation is the effect of “fibro fog.” In addition to the excruciating tissue pain experienced throughout the body, fibromyalgia can manifest an array of cognitive, emotional, and mental symptoms, commonly referred to as fibro fog or brain fog.

Medical sources, including the Arthritis Foundation, highlight the challenging cognitive aspect of fibromyalgia. Sleep disturbances and brain irregularities associated with the disease are believed to contribute to the range of brain fog symptoms, although research has not yet fully established their causation.

Notable symptoms of fibro fog include:

  • Fatigue and sedation
  • Confusion
  • Concentration and focus problems
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Challenges with conversing and word loss
  • Misplacing things
  • Distractibility
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Dizziness

These symptoms can have a potentially devastating impact on job performance. Whether one’s occupation involves physical labor, driving, professional decision-making, customer service, or any other vocational task, the cognitive effects of fibromyalgia alone could lead to disability.

Now, imagine the compounded impact of fibro fog alongside physical and other subjective aspects of the disease, such as chronic pain, stiffness, numbness and tingling, headaches, jaw pain, irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, nausea, flu symptoms, chest and breathing issues, skin problems, and more.

Does Fibromyalgia Cause Vision Problems

Yes, fibromyalgia can be associated with visual disturbances (blurred vision) and ocular issues (foreign body sensation, irritation), as well as corneal sensitivity and dry eye syndrome. Additionally, cases of scleritis (inflammation of the sclera-the white part of the eye), including the necrotizing form, have been reported by individuals suffering with fibromyalgia.. Scleritis can be quite painful, and in some cases, result in vision loss.

Each of these symptoms is extremely disruptive to every aspect of a person’s life, especially for anyone who continues working, and should be carefully documented when applying for disability benefits.

Working with a Skilled SSDI Attorney

For SSDI or SSI claimants with fibromyalgia, having an experienced lawyer by their side is essential. A skilled attorney will help build a compelling medical record showcasing the broad impact of the disease on their ability to work.

Since fibromyalgia presents numerous subjective symptoms, additional evidence, such as statements from family, friends, and colleagues, can play a vital role in supporting the claim. These observations could include signs of fatigue, pain reactions, forgetfulness, or difficulties in communication.

Legal counsel will diligently advocate for the claimant’s rights, emphasizing the Social Security Administration’s responsibility to consider all aspects of fibromyalgia, including the combined impact of severe symptoms on the individual’s ability to work.

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