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  #61  
Old 19 December 2011, 14:19
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RGR.Montcalm RGR.Montcalm is offline
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Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
I was originally given a (total) rating of 80% by the VA

Three years later while I was in AFG as a contractor they administratively downgraded me to 30% (as my records were "complete enough to review" they denied my request to delay the hearing to allow me to personally present evidence

Fast forward to last week and my claims for bilateral tinnitus, high freq hearing loss, goobered up shoulders, and sleep apnea came back as:

Tinnitis: 10%

High Freq Loss: 0%

Shoulders: Deferred

Sleep Apnea: Deferred despite there being 25+ pages of testing showing a very positive result. Guess they want their own testing?

New combined total rating: 40% - until the next budget-induced reviews come around, I guess
I got 50% for sleep apnea- but I have a documented 'severe' case...
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  #62  
Old 19 December 2011, 14:34
JustinL JustinL is offline
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If somebody can hear your tinnitus I would suspect it is not tinnitus at all but either vascular sounds from blood vessels near your ear or muscle spasms from the muscles in your pharynx. The former is far, far more common.

Tinnitus is thought to be the 'disinhibition' of the brain cells in the auditory cortex. Usually that is because the choclea or the nerve from the cochlea to the brain is damaged and not as much input gets to your auditory cortex. The end result is the now understimulated neurons create a noise perceived by the patient as tinnitus. Of course plenty of people without hearing loss suffer from tinnitus as well so the phenomenon is not entirely understood.

Last edited by JustinL; 19 December 2011 at 14:35. Reason: spelling
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  #63  
Old 19 December 2011, 14:54
tooslow tooslow is online now
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That's interesting Doc (may I call you Doc?).
My understanding was that the cilia in the ear structure normally react to vibration going through the ear... and that damaged cilia simply 'lay down', when damaged, generating the sensation of continuous noise.
At this time, the Mayo clinic is sticking to that evaluation.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tin...SECTION=causes

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinL View Post
If somebody can hear your tinnitus I would suspect it is not tinnitus at all but either vascular sounds from blood vessels near your ear or muscle spasms from the muscles in your pharynx. The former is far, far more common.

Tinnitus is thought to be the 'disinhibition' of the brain cells in the auditory cortex. Usually that is because the choclea or the nerve from the cochlea to the brain is damaged and not as much input gets to your auditory cortex. The end result is the now understimulated neurons create a noise perceived by the patient as tinnitus. Of course plenty of people without hearing loss suffer from tinnitus as well so the phenomenon is not entirely understood.
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  #64  
Old 19 December 2011, 16:14
JustinL JustinL is offline
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It is certainly possible that damaged cilia could trigger errant signals (remember I wrote 'tinnitus is though to be' not 'tinnitus is caused by' but that hypothesis does not explain the presence of tinnitus in those without damage to the cilia. In fact a lesion anywhere along the auditory pathway - from cochlea to auditory cortex has the capacity to cause tinnitus. The below citations reference more central causes of tinnitus than the cochlea.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=9443467
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=10601720

BTW - regarding an earlier post - when an observer can hear vascular noises or noise from muscle spams that has been referred to as 'nontonal tinnitus' though generally the word 'tinnitus' is used to describe the subjective noises we hear as a result of auditory dysfunction. I had to go back to an old textbook to find that one.
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  #65  
Old 19 December 2011, 18:06
Hammer06 Hammer06 is offline
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I sit here reading this post, my ears ringing. Good to hear (no pun intended) that the VA is looking at this as a legitimate issue. Being blown up twice from haji; the last one being two weeks before we left country, I had temporary learing loss as both eardrums were ruptured. Hearing loss to the point that I was not able to work. The hearing is back, but the tinnitus is a bitch. Gonna go to the VA and get reassessed with all my civilian documentation in hand. Anyone with it get the occasional sudden equalization of pressure that sounds like your head is built inside a 1000 watt speaker full volume that gets crushed with Thor's hammer Mjölnir in seconds. Loud as crap, and will stop you dead in your tracks..... Definite PITA....
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  #66  
Old 19 December 2011, 18:55
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Originally Posted by logan3110 View Post
I think most condidtions that can be treated/ healed/ cured can be reviewed and downgraded, maybe annually. This is to ensure that the govt. is not paying compensation for a non-existent condition. You might have gotten a letter for a C&P exam and tossed it, because it looks very bland and generic. It's happened before. I believe if you get treatment through the VA you can avoid this, as they should be able to request your VA specific files for any review without any help from you.
Look at your rating decision. It will tell you if you have any future exams. Many conditions which can improve are given future exams. They used to be at 2-3 year periods, but with the new rules that came out last year, they are generally scheduled for 5 years out. This was done mainly to reduce our workload so we could focus on new claims.
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  #67  
Old 19 December 2011, 19:06
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Originally Posted by JustinL View Post
If somebody can hear your tinnitus I would suspect it is not tinnitus at all but either vascular sounds from blood vessels near your ear or muscle spasms from the muscles in your pharynx. The former is far, far more common.
Here's a good website that discusses objective tinnitus.

http://www.medlink.com/medlinkcontent.asp. Once you get to this site (Neurology Weblink), search for "objective tinnitus." The first listing is a paper by a VA doctor.
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Last edited by ddog79; 19 December 2011 at 19:09. Reason: terminology correction
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  #68  
Old 19 December 2011, 20:07
JustinL JustinL is offline
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Quote:
Here's a good website that discusses objective tinnitus.
Yes that is what I was trying to explain.

Generally speaking 'tinnitus' is used to describe the subjective sounds one hears due to pathology within the auditory pathway. If you were to come into my office complaining of hearing noises and I found an AVM I would not say your problem is tinnitus but an AVM. Perhaps I am just splitting hairs.
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  #69  
Old 19 December 2011, 20:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinL View Post
Yes that is what I was trying to explain.

Generally speaking 'tinnitus' is used to describe the subjective sounds one hears due to pathology within the auditory pathway. If you were to come into my office complaining of hearing noises and I found an AVM I would not say your problem is tinnitus but an AVM. Perhaps I am just splitting hairs.
That's what I assumed. The website was more for the non-medically astute among us.

ETA: Objective tinnitus is the term used in the VA rating schedule, so that's why I threw it out there.
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  #70  
Old 19 December 2011, 20:26
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Originally Posted by RGR.Montcalm View Post
I got 50% for sleep apnea- but I have a documented 'severe' case...
That's about the only good thing about sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed in service, and then go on CPAP, it's an automatic 50%. A few years before I retired they removed my uvula and a little bit of my soft palate to try to alleviate my sleep apnea. It didn't work and I wound up using CPAP anyway.

I would recommend against this surgery if it's ever offered to anyone out there. It's extremely painful and not very effective.
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  #71  
Old 25 December 2011, 18:58
Mars Mars is offline
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I didn't realize this was considered a issue by the VA. I have had it for years.
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  #72  
Old 21 January 2012, 13:32
USN MA1 USN MA1 is offline
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During my pre-retirement audiogram the audiologist said I was "borderline" for a hearing aid, but I still passed :) She told me that there were "new" hearing aids' that would help alleviate tinnitus (I have it in my right ear) and she might have prescribed a hearing aid for that alone as I hadn't experienced enough hearing loss to "need" a hearing aid yet. I didn't have enough time left though to have one made, so she recommended I go through the VA.

During my hearing test for the VA I was asked did I shoot left or right handed when I told her about my tinnitus. When I told her left, but the tinnitus was in my right ear, she said it wasn't unusual to have it in the opposite ear.
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  #73  
Old 7 February 2012, 20:44
ERadwanski ERadwanski is offline
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Hey Fellas,

I have a tennitus claim, pending a third hearing test from a VA hospital, I have to make an appointment. My question is this: If i'm interested in joining back up, or becoming an LEO, or applying for IC jobs, how will this affect my employment/ re-enlistment?
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  #74  
Old 9 February 2012, 10:20
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VA turned me down saying that my MOS was not one on DOD list for potential hearing damage. I wonder what part of Radio Traffic did they not understand about prolonged expose to High frequency noise and static..... I appealed and recently had my 3rd exam by the C&P docs appeal is been in works now 6 years LOL
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  #75  
Old 9 February 2012, 13:24
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Just submitted my claim yesterday, hopefully 11B and 90mm gunner/gun team member will rate. We'll see.
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  #76  
Old 9 February 2012, 13:41
PallidCivilian PallidCivilian is offline
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So glad to hear you guys are getting treatment for this. I have a very mild case of tinnitus. In a quiet room, I hear a high-pitched ringing. Otherwise, ambient sounds usually mask it. (No hearing loss in my case.)

That's nothing compared to what Hammer06 reports above. Man, that sounds awful. Best of luck with treatment.

I got my tinnitus from transcribing recorded events about 10 years ago; the tape players had a deafening alarm that would go off unexpectedly into your headphones if you hit the foot pedal wrong. (Just slightly less impressive than getting it from hunting down terrorists. At least you guys have a cool story to go with yours! And you got yours serving the country.)

The only "treatment" I've found is turning on a fan or actually listening to the high tone as I fall asleep. I can't get rid of it, so I can only adjust my perception of it. Easy to say in my case.

Last edited by PallidCivilian; 9 February 2012 at 14:02.
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  #77  
Old 9 February 2012, 13:52
tooslow tooslow is online now
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I like to say "I'm never alone; I always have my tinnitus with me".
Mine sounds like steam escaping a radiator... doesn't really trouble me.
My deafness, on the other hand, is VERY annoying.
I hate my hearing aids; they are tiny, in-the-canal, amplifiers.
I'm going to try different ones, this month; behind-the-ear. I'll report on my success.
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  #78  
Old 9 February 2012, 14:23
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Ole crusty bastard Ole crusty bastard is offline
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Originally Posted by tooslow View Post
I hate my hearing aids; they are tiny, in-the-canal, amplifiers.
I'm going to try different ones, this month; behind-the-ear. I'll report on my success.
I had the behind-the-ear type(s) and liked the quality of sound, but any wind blowing over them was overly amplified.

I now have the little, in-the-canal suckers and can tell the difference in frequency response. Bigger is better, according to ear doctor, because there is room for more components.

Doctor also told me that I needed to wear them all the time, not just when I wanted to. She said that your brain takes a while to adjust to the new sounds.

Good luck.
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  #79  
Old 9 February 2012, 17:09
Miami Sam Miami Sam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERadwanski View Post
Hey Fellas,

I have a tennitus claim, pending a third hearing test from a VA hospital, I have to make an appointment. My question is this: If i'm interested in joining back up, or becoming an LEO, or applying for IC jobs, how will this affect my employment/ re-enlistment?


Joining back up you might need a waiver.
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  #80  
Old 9 February 2012, 17:13
Miami Sam Miami Sam is offline
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Originally Posted by rgrdrew View Post
Just submitted my claim yesterday, hopefully 11B and 90mm gunner/gun team member will rate. We'll see.


They'll give you a hearing test, the one where they play tones at different decibels and you push a thumb thing when you hear it.

11B/90mm gunner/gun team...you'll get it.
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