9/11 Sinusitis Compensation Claims
Since 9/11, downtown area workers, residents, students, and first responders have had an increased risk of developing breathing disorders, including sinusitis and sinus cancer. It is now well-known that in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, many people suffered from respiratory illnesses related to their exposure to the toxic cloud of dust and debris that filled the air around the World Trade Center (WTC) in the days and weeks following the attacks.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) was established in 2011 to provide financial compensation to those affected by the attacks. The VCF has been instrumental in helping those affected by the attacks to receive the financial compensation they need to compensate their losses and cover the costs of medical treatments and other expenses related to their sinusitis and other 9/11-certified illnesses.
Connecting The Link Between 9/11 and Sinusitis
Along with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sinusitis tops the list of most common 9/11-related health conditions, and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) has reported sinusitis as the most common adverse health effect among its members. The link between 9/11 and sinusitis is the dust that was created when the Twin Towers fell. This dust contained many toxic particles, such as heavy metals, asbestos, and glass fibers, which can cause respiratory issues such as sinusitis when breathed into the airways. Research has suggested that people who were exposed to the debris from the 9/11 attacks may be more likely to develop sinusitis due to the dust and other particles that were released into the air.
Researchers studying the medical records of firefighters who worked at the WTC site found that roughly 1,900 of these 9/11 responders had developed chronic sinusitis over the years since the attacks. While some victims and responders developed sinusitis very soon after their 9/11 exposure, other individuals may have taken longer to realize their sinus problems were related to their 9/11 exposure.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Sinusitis
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which can present with these common symptoms:
- Nasal stuffiness or discharge
- Sore throat and postnasal drip
- Head and neck pain
- Swelling around the eyes
- Bad breath
- Pressure-like pain behind the eyes, toothache, or tenderness of the face
Sinusitis occurs when the sinus openings become blocked or too much mucus builds up. This can be caused by any of the following conditions:
- Common cold
- Sinus infection
- A deviated nasal septum, nasal bone spur, or nasal polyps block the opening of the sinuses
- Exposure to environmental factors like smoke, dust, or other irritants
For those who were exposed to the dust, smoke, and debris from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, sinusitis is a common result.
How to Know if You Qualify for Sinusitis Compensation From Exposure
If you are one of the responders or survivors who were in or around any of the areas of the attacks during or in the months following 9/11, you were likely exposed to the dust, smoke, and debris from the collapse of the WTC and the fires that burned until the end of 2001. If you developed sinusitis after 9/11, you may be eligible for compensation from the 9/11 VCF. To be eligible for compensation, you must have been present at the WTC, the Pentagon, or the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site, or in the New York City (NYC) exposure zone or along the route of debris removal and recovery efforts in NYC sometime between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002.
The NYC Exposure Zone is defined as the area in Manhattan south of the line that runs along Canal Street from the Hudson River to the intersection of Canal Street and East Broadway, north on East Broadway to Clinton Street, and east on Clinton Street to the East River; and any area related to or along the routes of debris removal, such as barges and Fresh Kills landfill. An experienced 9/11 attorney can help you determine your eligibility for compensation from the VCF.
Sinusitis Treatment Options Through the WTC Health Program
The WTCHP is a government-funded program that provides medical treatment and monitoring for those affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Through the program, those who were exposed to 9/11 toxins and who have developed sinusitis or other certified 9/11-related illnesses can receive no-cost medical treatment and monitoring for their sinusitis.
Treatment of sinusitis aims to reduce inflammation and clear your sinuses. Your doctor may conduct tests such as a CT scan or MRI to determine the course of treatment and may prescribe antibiotics or nasal, oral, or injected corticosteroids. Other treatment options include decongestants, nasal spray, over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, acupuncture, and sinus saline rinses.
In severe cases when other treatments or medication for chronic sinusitis is ineffective, patients may want to consider sinus surgery. Endoscopic sinus surgery requires the doctor to use a thin, flexible tube with an attached light to explore the sinus passages. The doctor may use various instruments to remove tissue or trim away a polyp that is blocking a nasal blockage.
Work With a 9/11 Attorney To See If You’re Eligible for Compensation
If you were exposed to the toxic dust cloud from the 9/11 attacks and are experiencing sinusitis, it’s important to work with an experienced 9/11 attorney to ensure that you receive the medical care you need and the VCF award you deserve. An attorney can help you determine if you qualify for a VCF award, and will help you navigate the process of registering and filing a claim with the VCF. If you want a free case evaluation, contact us today!
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