Tinnitus is the most commonly claimed disability by veterans and it affects at least one in every 10 American adults. If you have thought about filing a tinnitus claim, read on.
Veterans have higher rates of tinnitus than the general public due to unique exposures to sounds like gunfire, machinery, and aircraft. A report by the VA estimates that 150,000 veterans were diagnosed with tinnitus in 2015 and nearly 1.5 million veterans are currently receiving disability benefits for the condition.
Tinnitus is defined as the perception of ringing, hissing, or other sound in the ears or head when no other sounds are present. For some people, tinnitus is merely an annoyance. For others, it is much more troublesome.
In most cases, there is no specific cure for tinnitus. Furthermore, research suggests that tinnitus can be made worse by symptoms such as stress, anxiety, or fatigue.
If your doctor finds a specific cause of your tinnitus, they may be able to alleviate your symptoms by eliminating the root cause. Like other types of conditions, diagnoses may require X-rays, tests, and laboratory work.
Treatment methods may include:
Concentration and relaxation exercises to help to control muscle movements and circulation throughout the body. Some patients find relief in the intensity of tinnitus with relaxation exercises.
White Noise offers a computing sound which may help mask tinnitus and make symptoms less noticeable.
The maximum rating you can get for regular or recurrent tinnitus is 10%, regardless of how bad it is or whether it is present in one or both ears. Keep in mind, It can be rated separately from the condition it is related to. For example, you could be rated for tinnitus in addition to psychiatric conditions or a traumatic brain injury.
If you are a veteran and think you may have the symptoms of tinnitus, get a hearing test done. There is no cure for tinnitus, but you need to eliminate something more serious. Your doctor can also determine if you are experiencing symptoms of some other condition that can be treated.
The VA standards for disability for hearing loss are determined by the speech recognition and tone tests. Various levels of rating percentages can be issued based on the results of the testing. However, for tinnitus, there is specific ways to prove your case with the VA.
Were you exposed to loud noises such as gunfire, working on a flight line, working with or near explosives? These can all be used as a nexus to show that you had an exposure that probably caused tinnitus.If the tinnitus was caused by something else, there must be some link to what you are claiming caused it. For example, if you are claiming it was due to medications, you must be able to prove, either with documentation or through lay statements, that you took the medications you say caused the tinnitus.
Do you need help with your tinnitus claim or help understanding which disability benefits you may be eligible for? Contact Veterans Guardian today to learn how we can help you achieve the benefits you are entitled to for your honorable service to the nation.