A1: Your best bet is a private doctor. If he decides your problem is ash related, he needs to write an opinion letter. After you have that letter you will need to file a claim for compensation. (SM) 12/14/19
A2: You Need To See A Lung Doctor You May COPD. (LW) 12/14/19
A3: I had the same thing with me and no body can give me answers. Seen more than 10 specialists and still no answers. (GP) 12/14/19
A4: I am not a doctor, but I'll take a stab at it.
You did not mention if you are on meds, which might be a cause...sounds like COPD, fibromyalgia, or hypothyroidism. It seems to happen in environments that are cold (i.e, too dry). You need humidity it seems...
Asbestos "may" be the culprit, ingested in to your lungs...but after a period of time, I think any remnants would have been expelled (I'm sure the VA tested for this).
Sooner rather than later this might affect your heart, blood flow-- there is a pulmonary/cardio connection, etc. Are your outer extremities blue, cold? Try Raynaud?s syndrome?? hormonal imbalances in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis?? antidepressants?? Temperature sensitivity is a common fibromyalgia symptom
Hope this helps...again, I am not a doctor. (RB) 12/14/19
A5: Go to a private specialist. When you have that information it makes a claim easier since they can't go against another professional outside the VA particularly since they "don't know." I wouldn't waste any time with this. You should be able to get authorization from the VA if you have VA healthcare exclusively and require a second opinion. Make sure they know your working conditions. (EA) 12/14/19
A6: In addition, have you checked your vitals while in cold, then heat, environments (especially systolic blood pressure) and then check your differences? Fish oil, beet root juice, gikgo biloba (and meds that increase nitric oxide production in your endothilium) increase blood flow and appear to help one tolerate cold sensitivity---ask your doctor about these. good luck. (RB) 12/14/19