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Tinnitus Proof?!


Cavman

Question

Aside from my appeal I filed a claim for tinnitus and also a claim for gerd, hiatal hernia, barretts esophagus & insomnia, all secondary to my PTSD disability. I got the VCAA letter today and of course the letter asking for more evidence if I have it. I already sent them proof of the PTSD, letter describing my combat and the unit I was in and locations, docotrs proof of tinnitus and doctors proof of gerd, hiatal hernia & barretts esophagus. I had nothing from a doctor verifying insomnia. All I had was a letter of explanation from me. My questions are how do I prove daily combat noises caused the constant ringing in my ears other than my word? Also, will that be enough to get the 10% rating? As for the secondary disabilities claimed secondary to PTSD, what else can I send them? Lastly, do any of you think I have a chance of winning any of these claims or am I wasting my time?

As always, many thanks in advance.

Cavman

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Were you in combat close to artillary before they started providing ear protection? Thats where my Tinnitus problem started, 1968, Vietnam. I wasn't an artillary guy, but I might as well have been, I was shoulder to shoulder with the leg, mechanized infantry, and artillary. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE HEAD CONCUSION OF 107 HOWIZERS IF YOU ARE OUT In-FRONT OF THEM..... to your head and ears. I lived in front of them (artillary firings) for months and knew that it was damaging to my head and ears. No doubt... it was damaging.

If you.................................... make sure your claims has the FACTS about your military experience..... the artillary firing, day after day, and YOU were close to it without ANY ear/hearing protection.

MAKE SURE THIS IS IN YOUR RECORD.

Thanks for the help first of all. I sent a letter with my original claim explaining I lived with m-16, m-60, m-50, mortars, sheridan tanks, cobras, hueys, b-52`s and artillery fire day and night and of course there was no such thing as ear protection,

Cavman

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Regarding your tinnitus claim, your service medical records should include the results of your periodic hearing tests in service. There's been a lot of discussion on this board about the measurements that indicate hearing problems. If you could tie your hearing test measurements into your lack of hearing protection while performing your duties in service, and with your doctor's letter, that would be hard for the VA to overcome. Your hearing test scores at the beginning of your enlistment should be better than near the end of your enlistment. The numbers would prove that.

An effective independent medical opinion in this case would probably need to come from a board-certified audiologist.

My understanding is there's no true test for tinnitus. You can have hearing problems caused by tinnitus, but also have hearing problems unrelated to tinnitus. It's pretty much the hearing test scores and the veteran's statement that he/she experiences ringing in the ears.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Almost everyone had ear protection and almost no one used it in the Air Cav I was in. It was decoration worn on uniform.

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i don't know about a 107,but i tell you about 102,105,155 towed/sp,175sp,8" guns.i was in 175mm unit,nd had ear plugs,i told the c&p doc i could not wear them 24/7 and didn't know when they would fire.i was not in combat,just trained alot.make sure your c&p doc knows it not a good thing to ware ear plugs in combat. i got 10% tinnis,0% hearing s/c.

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I had hearing exam by a private hearing specialist who wrote a letter to VA that more than likely tinnitus "ringing etc" was caused by military service. the doctor also noted to VA that my mos was 0311, Marine rifleman, and I was in 'Nam as well as being near a flight line and artillery unit. Remember "H&I" fire from artillery. It will help your claim to note it. The hearing doctor also mentioned all the different weapons I fired. We even mentioned firefight noise as well as rocket and morter noise.

Several years ago, when the VA medical center fitted me with hearing aids, the VA dispenser made a note in my records that I was "counselled about tinnitus problems" which also helped my claim. Good luck.

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I have just been denied service connection for tinnitus. I was a helicopter pilot and was constantly around the high pitched wine of the engines. I filed right after I got out of service last year. Im not sure what I can do. I will be appealing, but, like you said, I really dont have anything to prove it other than my statement. I had mentioned it while in service but was told nothing could be done.

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For Tinnitus to be granted SC it must be reported as RECURRENT,

Does it bother you often, like maybe once or twice a week, does it ever wake you up at night ?

There is no test to prove or disprove having Tinnitus, there is no cure, and hearing aids did not help mask my Tinnitus. Also, only Subjective Tinnitus that is heard only by the patient is service connectable.

Recurrent is the key word .

Edited by carlie (see edit history)
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Regarding your claim for tinnitus, there is a very very slim of ever getting approved. Even as far back as Vietnam, helicopter pilots and door gunners were issued helmets for hearing protection and mikes to talk on.

On the flight line & repair shops, they were given hearing protection devices. I was in a aero-rifle infantry platoon in the air cav. We did not wear any kind of hearing protection if we did it would almost void our missions. Some times our mission would require us ride on tanks & apcs. I carried the m-60 for 6 months then the m-16 for 5 month.

Our sleeping quaters were about 20 to 30 yards from a artillery unit. when they fired our tents would like suck out and then suck in. It would blow out the candles we had for light. It was hard to be on missions and try to get a little sleep.

I have ringing of both ears and moderate to sever hearing loss for both and still was turned down by va.

Good Luck

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Army,

This is only my opinion of how you even got the 10 % rating from what you posted.

0% - Tinnitus

0% - Hearing loss

10% - Combined

SC even at 0 % is getting your foot in the door and that's a good thing.

To get compensable SC for hearing you have to be pretty damned deaf.

A vet can be RX'd hearing aids for both ears and have hearing loss SC'd at zero %.

I think the reason you got awarded the 10% - Combined, is VA was actually

compensating you 10 % for the Tinnitus.

Do you know what your audiology results were back in 1969, and if your results

were compensable going by VA's screwy graph ? That's where a CUE might be is in that graph. Being that VA did grant SC even at 0 %, if your results did not fall within the compensable range for hearing loss - then an award of 10 % would not be a lowball or a CUE.

JMHO.

carlie

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CURRENTLY

6260 Tinnitus, recurrent........................................ 10

Note (1): A separate evaluation for tinnitus may be combined

with an evaluation under diagnostic codes 6100, 6200, 6204,

or other diagnostic code, except when tinnitus supports an

evaluation under one of those diagnostic codes.

Note (2): Assign only a single evaluation for recurrent

tinnitus, whether the sound is perceived in one ear, both

ears, or in the head.

Note (3): Do not evaluate objective tinnitus (in which the

sound is audible to other people and has a definable cause

that may or may not be pathologic) under this diagnostic

code, but evaluate it as part of any underlying condition

causing it.

Now something else of importance here is I think, if I remember right - regs for Tinnitus back in 69 were a bit different than now. It was something like --- maybe had to be related to head trauma --- someone help me out here with this one please.

carlie

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Shamrok,

Millions of vets are compensated monthly for Tinnitus. I would suggest as a combat vet with air cav you reopen your claim. If air cav is in your records Tinnitus should be a slam dunk. Tinnitus is actually an easy disability to get SC'd because it cannot be proven nor disproved.

JMHO,

carlie

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Guest terrysturgis

carlie, I have been awarded 10% for Tinnitus. I helped two others file for Tinnitus and both were turned down. One MOS 11B, M-60 operator and the other an Aircraft Engine Mechanic. On my claim I had an IMO from an audiologist saying "as likely as not SC'd" and enclosed a tape from Viet Nam full of artillery blasts. I believe the key to my claim was on my exit physical hearing loss was noted and reported on my record.

As with any claim, evidence and proof help win claims. Take care. terry Sturgis

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Guest rickb54

In 1986 when I retired, I claimed hearing loss, and tinnitus. I was 11B for my first 6 years, then a computer specialist (with the constant hum of main frames) the remainder of my time. Althought my medical records and in service hearing tests documeted a loss of hearing, and tinnitus complants I was denided for compensation by the VA. I did not appeal the denial. In 1992 I filed again for hearing loss and tinnitus and again I received a denial.

Finally in 2005, my hearing was so bad I could not hear my wife talking across a table at a resturant. I went to Fr Hood, and had a new hearing test, and the doctor (who had just quit working for the va) told me tht I had a hearing loss that hearing aids could help. I showed her copies of my medical retirement hearing test, and she wrote a statement right then and there that my hearing loss began on active duty, and contuined to date. She told me to go to the va to get the hearing aids. I saw the Doctor at Temple VA, who tested my hearing, and then fitted me for hearing aids. I explained what the other doctor told me and then showed her my active duty medical records. She also agreeded that my hearing loss started on active duty an dwrote a statement in my medical records to that effect. I of course have tinnitus also which was attributed to a jeep accident in 1974 in which I was throw from the jeep and was knocked out for 2 1/2 days.

I was awarded service connection in Sept 2005, for my hearing loss (0%)and tinnitus (10%). I have since filled a request for De Novo for a eairler effective date. The key to me was the statements that both doctors wrote.

Let me say if it was not for my wife getting upset at me I would not have gotten my ears checked again. While I still don't understand all the words spoken, I can hear them now. Rememebr hearing aids are just microphones and speakers they do not correct the damage to the ears, they just make the noise a little louder.

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TerrySturgis,

Glad you got yours and just as glad I've got mine.

Army,

Pertaining to your claim you are SC for hearing loss and SC for Tinnitus

you said with a combined rating for these 2 of 10 %.

Do you know what diagnostic code IN 1969, VA went by to grant the 10 %?

I remember someone else posting on this claim brought up my same question as before, what were the results of you audiology examination - NOT THAT

YOU HAVE HEARING LOSS, but the actual numbers and where they fell on the disability hearing impairment chart in 1969 and how it was applied in 1969.

I showed you earlier where Tinnitus IN 1969 could ONLY be granted as a result of head trauma.

Back to your original question on this thread :

" In 2005, I filed for Bilateral Tinnitus. The VA gave me two C&P evaluations and both concluded that I have Tinnitus (both ears) and hearing loss, both ears. Further, in 2006, I have an IMO that states the same conclusion and same diagnosis(s).

MY QUESTION: Can I use the two (2) VA C&Ps and the one (1) IMO to appeal for RETRO to 1969 for an increase in the 1969 rating? I think it should have been 20% or higher."

My opinion: NO

You can try and use anything you want --- but to the best of my knowledge

(and I can be quite obtuse) the only way to get your retro to 1969 is through CUE.

The ONLY EVIDENCE that can be considered is the evidence at hand in 1969,

(under some circumstances lost SMR;s could come into play here, but you have said many times that your SMR's show hearing loss and tinnitus.)

The 2) - 2005 VA C&P's and the 1) - 2006 IMO, bring in factors that maybe

new & material evidence for an increase, but they will not help you for a CUE.

VA's answer to you will be

1) difference of opinion - NO CUE

2) how the rater in 1969 weighed the evidence, judgement call, NO CUE.

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Cavman,

Looks like your thread got hijacked here. For your Tinnitus try to get a nexus letter from a doc. Some where around here I posted a GERD granted (nexus secondary to PTSD) thread.

Good luck,

carlie

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carlie, I have been awarded 10% for Tinnitus. I helped two others file for Tinnitus and both were turned down. One MOS 11B, M-60 operator and the other an Aircraft Engine Mechanic. On my claim I had an IMO from an audiologist saying "as likely as not SC'd" and enclosed a tape from Viet Nam full of artillery blasts. I believe the key to my claim was on my exit physical hearing loss was noted and reported on my record.

As with any claim, evidence and proof help win claims. Take care. terry Sturgis

John's exit physical both times said hearing loss, Also a month before he went to Vietnam it stated hearing loss, no hearing loss when he enlisted, but the C&P doctors said his hearing loss and tinninus was not SC.

How does one prove this on a NOD? because once he get a rating we will file NOD, for it, although he had work and recreational exposer after service. This is why she said his hearing loss was caused from, although it is on Service Records.

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