Author Topic: VAC and Tinnitus  (Read 78290 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jollyjacktar

  • Guest
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2011, 18:41:08 »
Thanks for the tip Occam, I'm going to be getting another audiogram week after next.  I'll ask some questions about this sort of stuff.

Offline Fishbone Jones

    MSC -5620.

  • "Some people will only like you if you fit inside their box. Don't be afraid to shove that box up their ass."
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 276,762
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,579
    • Army.ca
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2011, 19:23:23 »
In my case (yours may differ), the hearing aid (HA) is actually prescribed to treat my tinnitus.  Maskers are apparently not given out any more, as it has been found that the new HAs do a better job at dealing with the effects of tinnitus.  In my case, the range of speech frequencies are boosted above the perceived volume of the tinnitus, effectively masking it with the ambient sound (if there is any, that is).  I'm still serving, and when I got my HA a little over two years ago it was one of the best available.  I just had a periodic hearing check done, and the audiologist tells me that the model I have is obsolete already.  They actually have HAs now with integrated Bluetooth for your cellphone or whatever.  Really!  And they are likely within the spectrum of care for VAC.  If you haven't asked your audiologist about whether a HA can be useful in your case for treating your tinnitus, be sure to ask about it.  It's very common now.

Those are the ones I have. I've tried it. It works, but I find it easier and less cumbersome to set my phones to the hearing aid setting.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Mike63

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 4,180
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 90
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2011, 22:19:40 »
In my case (yours may differ), the hearing aid (HA) is actually prescribed to treat my tinnitus.  Maskers are apparently not given out any more, as it has been found that the new HAs do a better job at dealing with the effects of tinnitus.  In my case, the range of speech frequencies are boosted above the perceived volume of the tinnitus, effectively masking it with the ambient sound (if there is any, that is).  I'm still serving, and when I got my HA a little over two years ago it was one of the best available.  I just had a periodic hearing check done, and the audiologist tells me that the model I have is obsolete already.  They actually have HAs now with integrated Bluetooth for your cellphone or whatever.  Really!  And they are likely within the spectrum of care for VAC.  If you haven't asked your audiologist about whether a HA can be useful in your case for treating your tinnitus, be sure to ask about it.  It's very common now.

Hmmm...well now I will have to check up on that.  I just remember my audiologist saying that from the test results, I didn't warrant the use of HAs yet.  You would have figured that he would of at least mentioned the possibility of that working.

I have a friend from the PPCLI that is still serving here in Kingston, he has 2 HAs.  It's pretty funny because when we did PT he didn't wear them so, we always had to yell at him.  Sometimes he wouldn't have them in yet when we got back to our units lines...still having to yell at him, still makes me laugh.
Proud To Have Served My Country!

Offline Chief Engineer

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 741,067
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,976
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2011, 23:28:49 »
I was diagnosed with Tinnitus several years ago from my exposure over the years to engine noise on the ship. Even though I have moderate hearing loss and have at times a hard time hearing it was determined that my hearing loss was not sufficient to having a HA.I can live with the Tinnitus however was told the military don't perscribe a masking device anymore.
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

كافر

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2011, 01:38:10 »
That's right - they don't prescribe maskers anymore.

Normally, once a person makes a complaint of tinnitus, a "tinnitus assessment" is performed by an audiologist.  The assessment I did was quite lengthy, but it did conclusively prove that I had tinnitus and identified its perceived frequency and amplitude.  Once the tinnitus assessment was done, they tried me out with an audio CD which had pink noise tailored to match my tinnitus.  I would listen to that for 5-10 minutes several times per day.  Eventually it stopped working, and the HA was suggested at that point.  The HA worked like a charm.

Under the old Pension Act, a person could only get the 10% (or "severe") disability level if they required the use of a tinnitus masker.  Because the legislation never kept up with the technology, it became nearly impossible to get assessed at the 10% disability level because nobody was prescribing maskers anymore.  The BPA lawyer who represented me argued (successfully) that using current technology, the HA is performing as a masker.  VRAB sought out an expert opinion on the subject, and here's what was quoted in my decision:

The Board was referred to a statement from Trevor Menchenton, Clinical Audiologist, dated 28 April 2010, which notes as follows:
. . . hearing aids (HAs) . . . . used to distract him from the tinnitus, they ARE serving as a tinnitus masker. A masker does not eliminate tinnitus, it just helps to distract the sufferer from its constant presence. HAs are the tinnitus maskers most often used today, dedicated maskers that do not assist with hearing are no longer widely used. ln fact, I am not even sure they continue to be produced in Canada it has been such a long time since I looked for one. HAs provide the best masking effect because they accomplish both goals at once, addressing the hearing difficulties and also distracting the user from his/her tinnitus. To be used effectively as maskers, they require a specific approach to amplification and we must introduce sound in an appropriate fashion, but any audiologist should be able to program them effectively to accomplish this. . . .
. . . ln the majority of cases, we use carefully applied low frequency amplification to initiate a forward masking effect to cover up the typical high frequency tinnitus most people with noise-induced hearing loss suffer from. This is cautiously programmed and requires extensive discussion and coaching with the patient to handle its effect . . . .


So if you haven't had a tinnitus assessment done, that's probably the first step in figuring out if a HA will do you any good...

Offline Future Pensioner

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 900
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 66
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2011, 15:42:45 »
While we are on the subject of tinnitus - does anyone suffer from/been pensioned for both tinnitus and vertigo and/or hearing loss?

Thanks in advance.

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2011, 16:17:18 »
While we are on the subject of tinnitus - does anyone suffer from/been pensioned for both tinnitus and vertigo and/or hearing loss?

Yes, under the Pension Act - I was initially awarded a 5% disability for tinnitus and a 2% disability for hearing loss.  The tinnitus disability was later increased to 10%.

Why do you ask?

Offline Future Pensioner

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 900
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 66
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2011, 16:53:01 »
Thanks for the reply Occam.  I should be more specific - I am referring to a pension for vertigo that may/may not be associated with either the tinnitus or the hearing loss.  Additionally I am interested in understanding if anyone has had vertigo tied to either one of the two other conditions.




Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2011, 20:53:44 »
Are you referring to a claim under the Pension Act, or the New Veterans Charter?

Under the Pension Act, vertigo is accounted for in the assessment of hearing loss if it is part and parcel of the hearing loss disability.  See 9.03 - Vertigo

The assessment under the New Veterans Charter is somewhat more complex.

Are you looking at trying to claim vertigo as a separately pensionable condition, or to claim it as a cause of hearing loss and not an effect?

Offline ElevenBravo

  • Guest
  • *
  • 10
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2012, 17:27:35 »
I went to a private hearing clinic in Calgary, had my tinnitus confirmed.  The clinic filled out the paperwork and I received a lump sum payment in my account and a letter detailing it.  On my profile is more info.  I didn't have any prior history but I already received compesation for PTSD.

Good luck.

Offline timbit1969

  • Guest
  • *
  • 60
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2013, 17:57:56 »
Tinnitus HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recently I was awarded a VAC disability award, SDA injury for Bilateral Chrionic Tinnitus present day and night in both ears (no hearing loss).  I was prescribed devices (Zen hearing aids with fractals) and a pillow sleeper as masking devices.  Still serving so my request from my practioner went to CF health services of course.  Subsequently treatment was denied as it does not fall under the CF spectrum of care.  FAIR ENOUGH, treatment denial (official document) was then forwarded to veterans affairs for a treatment request and VAC refused to even enter it in their system.....The refusal for treatment was given verbally to my practionner, and VAC refuses to even look at my file for treatment.  My response the last 10 times I have contacted VAC was a very quick,  you are still serving, fight it out with the CF not our problem.

I have contacted the CF, submitted a grievance, contacted veterans affairs, no glory, presented at the local district office, contatced the Veterans affairs Ombudsman, and the resolution dept at Veterans affairs. 

So to date no treatment, the CF says no, and VAC refuses to process treatment authorization request because I am still serving.  Is there anyone who can possibly provide me with a means to deal with this........................ I am losing it and quickly

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2013, 18:02:39 »
Just to clarify - the CF refused to pay for your hearing aids and pillow sleeper?

Offline timbit1969

  • Guest
  • *
  • 60
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2013, 18:20:27 »
Yes thats correct!
Because there is no hearing loss they say that tinnitus treatment itself is not covered

sorry I hadnt realized it posted in two places....my apologies

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2013, 18:26:03 »
In Aug 2008, my ENT and audiologist in Halifax recommended a hearing aid to serve as a masker for my tinnitus (they don't use true maskers anymore because they seldom work).  In Feb 2009, the ENT in Ottawa concurred and I was given a hearing aid to treat my tinnitus.  At the time, there was hearing loss, but not enough to need a hearing aid.  The hearing aid was prescribed solely for my tinnitus, and it was paid for and issued by the CF.  What does the Spectrum of Care policy actually say now?

Offline Lightguns

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 24,970
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,033
  • I live for trout and deer
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2013, 19:06:54 »
You all mean there is a relationship between vertigo and hearing loss. I thought I was just getting old. I have been fighting the VAC battle over hearing loss in one ear and the crazy ringing since 1989. I received 3/5 for one ear in 89.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 19:39:13 by Lightguns »
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2013, 19:12:26 »
You all mean there is a relationship between vertigo and hearing loss. I thought I was just getting old. I have been fighting the VAC battle over hearing loss in one ear and the crazy ringing since 1989. I received 3/5 for ear in 89.

There is, sometimes...but it's not a good relationship.  If you have vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus, dollars to doughnuts they're going to try to pin it on Meniere's Disease, which is one of those things they diagnose by excluding everything else.  Meniere's isn't a pensionable condition, since it's not something caused by noise exposure and has more to do with how your ear is put together.

Offline Nudibranch

  • Member
  • ****
  • 4,830
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 120
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2013, 17:08:36 »
The hearing aid was prescribed solely for my tinnitus, and it was paid for and issued by the CF.  What does the Spectrum of Care policy actually say now?

Therapies covered under SoC undergo evidence-based reviews, especially new therapies using already-accepted equipment (as happened under hearing aids, which SoC covers, used for tinnitus rather than hearing loss; it can actually take the system a while to catch this and go "hey wait, should we be paying for this particular therapy?"). When there isn't sufficient evidence for their efficacy, therapies won't be approved (as with tinnitus maskers, massage, protein-rich plasma injections, etc).
So at this time, tinnitus maskers aren't covered. Private practitioners will often prescribe them, as they will prescribe other non-covered therapies - SoC will still not cover these, but the member is more than free to pay their own way. I paid for my vision correction surgery, others (including still-serving VAC, going forward from 2013) pay for their massage.

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2013, 00:34:05 »
Therapies covered under SoC undergo evidence-based reviews, especially new therapies using already-accepted equipment (as happened under hearing aids, which SoC covers, used for tinnitus rather than hearing loss; it can actually take the system a while to catch this and go "hey wait, should we be paying for this particular therapy?"). When there isn't sufficient evidence for their efficacy, therapies won't be approved (as with tinnitus maskers, massage, protein-rich plasma injections, etc).
So at this time, tinnitus maskers aren't covered. Private practitioners will often prescribe them, as they will prescribe other non-covered therapies - SoC will still not cover these, but the member is more than free to pay their own way. I paid for my vision correction surgery, others (including still-serving VAC, going forward from 2013) pay for their massage.

Tinnitus maskers aren't generally prescribed anymore - using noise to cancel out another noise has turned out to be not as great an idea as once thought.  The common practice now (and for some time) has been to prescribe a hearing aid, which masks the tinnitus by amplifying the (desired) external sound range above the perceived level of the tinnitus.  That's the principle my own hearing aid is set up for, and it works quite well.  The CF is well aware of this well-established treatment method and as I mentioned before, they paid for my hearing aid in 2009 to treat my tinnitus with no questions asked.  VAC picked up the tab for my latest hearing aid, since I released in 2011.  I'm not sure if or why the current SoC has changed, as there haven't been any breakthroughs in the treatment of tinnitus, and hearing aids are still the standard treatment as opposed to maskers.

Offline Jdhfx

  • Guest
  • *
  • 80
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3
Tinnitus
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2015, 21:18:10 »
Hello Everyone,

I am checking to see if anyone has been successful with a DVA claim for Tinnitus WITHOUT hearing loss. Ie less than 25 db? If so any info on what needs to be covered would be benificial. I'm asking as I had applied and was denied on first application and then again with the review and appeal board. The reason was no hearing loss of more then 25 db at 3000,4000 or 6000 frequency. Thanks in advance.

Offline Chief Engineer

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 741,067
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,976
Re: Tinnitus
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2015, 21:48:14 »
Hello Everyone,

I am checking to see if anyone has been successful with a DVA claim for Tinnitus WITHOUT hearing loss. Ie less than 25 db? If so any info on what needs to be covered would be beneficial. I'm asking as I had applied and was denied on first application and then again with the review and appeal board. The reason was no hearing loss of more then 25 db at 3000,4000 or 6000 frequency. Thanks in advance.

I was awarded 5% with some hearing loss, not sure the range though, although it wasn't enough to qualify me for a claim for the hearing.  I had it reevaluated and eventually won 10%.
"When your draught exceeds your depth, you are most assuredly aground"

All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

كافر

Offline George Wallace

  • Army.ca Fossil
  • *****
  • 436,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 31,592
  • Crewman
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and arguments of George Wallace posted on this Site are solely those of George Wallace and not the opinion of Army.ca and are posted for information purposes only.
Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2015, 06:01:49 »
I had a tinnitus claim approved long before they approved any hearing loss claim.  Did the audiologist perform a tinnitus assessment on you?  It's a couple of hour's worth of testing aimed at identifying the perceived frequency and amplitude of your tinnitus.  It would be key to having a tinnitus claim approved.

Offline Jdhfx

  • Guest
  • *
  • 80
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2015, 11:50:06 »
Yes I had the tinnitus test done. They denied it because I didn't have hearing loss more then 25 db in the 2000-6000 frequency. I did have hearing loss in the 7000-8000 feq but they did not accept that. I also had the from signed that says I have tinnitus all day everyday and required a masker.
I thought that Tennitus could be claimed on its own without hearing loss? Has anyone experienced this and was successful? If so what documents were submitted?

Offline Occam

    Go RRRRRRRREDBLACKS!

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 93,375
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,008
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2015, 13:20:28 »
That's ridiculous - your BPA lawyer should be all over that.  Tinnitus and hearing loss are completely separate conditions under both the old Table of Disabilities and the 2006 Table of Disabilities.  Tinnitus does not have to result in hearing loss to be awarded a disability rating - like I said, they awarded me a disability rating for tinnitus long before my hearing loss stabilized resulting in an additional rating for hearing loss.

You do have a BPA lawyer, right?

Offline RobA

  • Member
  • ****
  • 2,495
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 128
Re: Tinnitus Anyone approved, without having prior med docs?
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2015, 14:02:51 »
what's a bpa lawyer, and where do we get one?