What is Tinnitus?
The definition of tinnitus is the perception of ringing, hissing, or other sounds 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.
Tinnitus is a disability with the most claims by veterans and it affects at least one in every ten American adults. If you have thought about filing a 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 deal with tinnitus in 2015 and nearly 1.5 million veterans are currently receiving disability benefits for their condition.
What To Do About Tinnitus?
In most cases, there is no specific cure for tinnitus. Furthermore, research suggests that it can be made worse by symptoms such as stress, anxiety, or fatigue.
If your doctor finds a specific cause of your condition, 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 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 that may help mask tinnitus and make symptoms less noticeable.
Filing A Claim
Unfortunately, regardless of how bad it is or whether it is present in one or both ears, the maximum rating you can get for regular or recurrent tinnitus is 10%. Keep in mind, each condition rates separately. For example, you can have a rating in addition to psychiatric conditions or a traumatic brain injury.
What to Do If You Notice Symptoms
If you are a veteran and think you may have symptoms, get a hearing test done. There is no cure, 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 treatable.
The VA determines disabilities for hearing loss by speech recognition and tone tests. Testing results can issue various levels of rating percentages. However, for tinnitus, there are specific ways to prove your case with the VA.
Were you in exposure to loud noises such as gunfire? Working on a flight line? Operating with or near explosives? These all are factors that help determine a nexus that can show you had an exposure that has causes towards your tinnitus. If something else causes your condition, there must be some evidence of what you are claiming. For example, if you are claiming it was due to medications, you must be able to prove that cause. This can be done 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.