Agent Orange exposure is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is a progressive lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is characterized by airflow obstruction and difficulty breathing. COPD is a severe respiratory condition that affects millions of Americans. It causes difficulty breathing and limits life activities. Talk to your doctor about symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing, or wheezing.
VA links a variety of diseases to Agent Orange exposure, including soft tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin’s disease, and other cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. Other illnesses linked to toxic exposure include idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and porphyria cutanea tarda.
As COPD progresses, it thickens and narrows the airways, causing people to breathe harder. This makes the lungs work harder to get the oxygen they need and can cause coughing and shortness of breath.
Over time, research has shown that long-term exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides can lead to a wide variety of chronic issues and diseases, including rashes, skin conditions, miscarriages, congenital disabilities in children, and cancers affecting the bladder, prostate, and respiratory system. The VA now recognizes 19 presumptive needs based on herbicide exposure and has established new parameters under which Veterans may be eligible for compensation for these illnesses. The correlation between COPD and Agent Orange exposure is a subject of considerable interest among veterans, as they seek information and resources regarding potential connections between respiratory conditions and exposure to this herbicide during military service.
For instance, a Marine Corps right out of high school who served as an Army Chemical Corps soldier in Vietnam was exposed to Agent Orange, as well as burn pits and other toxins during his service. His lungs are now permanently damaged, and he has been diagnosed with emphysema, which is a form of COPD.
The dioxin TCDD is an unwanted byproduct of the herbicide’s production and has been shown to cause several diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. TCDD can enter the body through inhalation or direct contact with skin, changing how genes are expressed and causing long-term cellular mutations.
It’s also been linked to other cancers, psychiatric symptoms, and even type 2 diabetes and congenital disabilities in children. It’s been found that some of these problems can skip a generation, meaning the effects may appear in later generations.
Currently, the VA recognizes 19 presumptive conditions that can be connected to Agent Orange exposure. Including Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma, as well as other cancers and disorders of the bladder, prostate, and respiratory tract. The PACT Act expands the number of veterans. Who can qualify for benefits if they have emphysema and were exposed to Agent Orange. It removes the requirement for a medical nexus to prove their condition is tied to their service, making it easier to get help.
COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a chronic condition affecting your lungs. Several factors, including long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, toxic fumes, dangerous chemicals, and small dust particles from construction sites, can cause it. Inflammation is also one of the leading causes of COPD.
Inflammation can lead to a rare but life-threatening complication of infection called septicemia. This happens when bacteria in a particular body part proliferate and enter the bloodstream.
It is not on the presumptive list of conditions VA presumes are from Agent Orange, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get benefits for it. You may be eligible for help if you prove your COPD is connected to your military service. You can do this by filing a supplemental claim and submitting new evidence.
Researchers continue to study veterans who have COPD and whether or not it is linked to Agent Orange. This is because a diagnosis of COPD can have serious consequences, including being denied VA benefits. The condition affects the lungs and causes airflow obstruction that can be difficult to treat. COPD can take many forms, from chronic bronchitis to emphysema. One of the chemicals found in Agent Orange is dioxin TCDD, which can cause genetic mutations and long-term cellular changes.
Using COPD, researchers have identified genes associated with COPD. These genes may explain why some people develop COPD more quickly or have more severe symptoms than others. These findings could improve treatment and outcomes for COPD patients.
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