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VAC and Tinnitus

rasputin

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Just wondering, while I was exposed to guns and planes, I don't know that I could pinpoint one specific event on that front.  The only thing I can specifically pinpoint in terms of injury is something I have never seen listed by anyone as a cause (and I don't know if it would cause long term damage or not)?  Essentially, when I did the hyperbaric chamber and they dropped us almost instantly from X feet to Y feet (can't remember the values) it "popped" my ears and I was not allowed to finish the chamber part of the course.  Hurt for a few days.  Wasn't like your normal feeling you would get if they just don't open.  Was actually fairly painful.  Have had intermittent tinnitus since.  I also struggle to hear if say there is a fan or something going in a room...hear the voices but can't make out what they are saying while others can.  Or as an example a group of us were snowshoeing this weekend and while the rest can carry out a conversation, I hear the voices but can't make out the words (while everyone else can).  Anyhow, was just wondering if anyone knew whether the hyperbaric chamber qualifies as a specific incident?  It isn't like I know that is the cause but I know that was a specific injury.  Being around the planes and guns was more of a routine thing where I can't remember any specific issue.
 

Occam

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https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/cavrab/doc/2013/2013canlii104729/2013canlii104729.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQATdGlubml0dXMgaHlwZXJiYXJpYwAAAAAB&resultIndex=1
 

211RadOp

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rasputin said:
Just wondering, while I was exposed to guns and planes, I don't know that I could pinpoint one specific event on that front.  The only thing I can specifically pinpoint in terms of injury is something I have never seen listed by anyone as a cause (and I don't know if it would cause long term damage or not)?  Essentially, when I did the hyperbaric chamber and they dropped us almost instantly from X feet to Y feet (can't remember the values) it "popped" my ears and I was not allowed to finish the chamber part of the course.  Hurt for a few days.  Wasn't like your normal feeling you would get if they just don't open.  Was actually fairly painful.  Have had intermittent tinnitus since.  I also struggle to hear if say there is a fan or something going in a room...hear the voices but can't make out what they are saying while others can.  Or as an example a group of us were snowshoeing this weekend and while the rest can carry out a conversation, I hear the voices but can't make out the words (while everyone else can).  Anyhow, was just wondering if anyone knew whether the hyperbaric chamber qualifies as a specific incident?  It isn't like I know that is the cause but I know that was a specific injury.  Being around the planes and guns was more of a routine thing where I can't remember any specific issue.

When I filed mine years ago (2010/11 I think), I couldn't pinpoint a specific incident.  I listed everything I had been exposed to over the years; generators, weapons, explosions, HF white noise, etc.
 

lapinpunki

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hey, I have had continuous Tinnitus since Nov 2017. I got it from sleeping below the 57 mm gun on the ship (Navy).
I put in my claim 1 week ago and it still isnt on my ''track your application'' page on my VAC account. How long until it showed up for you guys?

Also, I was wondering if the only way for them to give hearing aids for tinnitus is if you also have hearing loss? The doc at the base hospital sent me to do a hearing test to see if I have hearing loss or not. Turns out I don't. But the Tinnitus is still annoying as all hell.
From what I hear online, they can prescribe special hearing aids that can help with this?

Another question too lol, is a regular hearing test what they do to determine how bad your tinnitus is? or is there a special tinnitus exam they do?
 

BDTyre

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You can get tinnitus maskers which are actually a little smaller than hearing aids and will basically cancel out that high pitched whine.

The way it was explained to me is that tinnitus will show as hearing loss at specific frequencies; or at least hearing loss at specific frequencies tends to be associated with tinnitus and that the pitch of the tone you continuously hear correlates to the frequencies you've suffered the loss in. I'm not a med tech or doctor so my explanation might not be the best.

For my tinnitus, they noted hearing loss in a certain range and sent me off to an audiologist for more in depth testing. Of course, tinnitus is also confirmed by you coming forward and singing "I'm hearing a high pitched whine in my ear."

lapinpunki said:
hey, I have had continuous Tinnitus since Nov 2017. I got it from sleeping below the 57 mm gun on the ship (Navy).
I put in my claim 1 week ago and it still isnt on my ''track your application'' page on my VAC account. How long until it showed up for you guys?

Also, I was wondering if the only way for them to give hearing aids for tinnitus is if you also have hearing loss? The doc at the base hospital sent me to do a hearing test to see if I have hearing loss or not. Turns out I don't. But the Tinnitus is still annoying as all hell.
From what I hear online, they can prescribe special hearing aids that can help with this?

Another question too lol, is a regular hearing test what they do to determine how bad your tinnitus is? or is there a special tinnitus exam they do?
 

lapinpunki

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CanadianTire said:
You can get tinnitus maskers which are actually a little smaller than hearing aids and will basically cancel out that high pitched whine.

The way it was explained to me is that tinnitus will show as hearing loss at specific frequencies; or at least hearing loss at specific frequencies tends to be associated with tinnitus and that the pitch of the tone you continuously hear correlates to the frequencies you've suffered the loss in. I'm not a med tech or doctor so my explanation might not be the best.

For my tinnitus, they noted hearing loss in a certain range and sent me off to an audiologist for more in depth testing. Of course, tinnitus is also confirmed by you coming forward and singing "I'm hearing a high pitched whine in my ear."


hmmm, I wonder if they would let me try the masking hearing aids even if I don't have hearing loss with my tinnitus. The audiologist just told me to use a white noise machine. That's good and all, but I cant bring a white noise machine everywhere I go lol.

also, I'm just wondering how do I know if I am a 5 or a 10 if I don't try and see if they help or not?
 

Occam

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lapinpunki said:
hey, I have had continuous Tinnitus since Nov 2017. I got it from sleeping below the 57 mm gun on the ship (Navy).
I put in my claim 1 week ago and it still isnt on my ''track your application'' page on my VAC account. How long until it showed up for you guys?

Also, I was wondering if the only way for them to give hearing aids for tinnitus is if you also have hearing loss? The doc at the base hospital sent me to do a hearing test to see if I have hearing loss or not. Turns out I don't. But the Tinnitus is still annoying as all hell.
From what I hear online, they can prescribe special hearing aids that can help with this?

Another question too lol, is a regular hearing test what they do to determine how bad your tinnitus is? or is there a special tinnitus exam they do?

What you're looking for is called a tinnitus assessment.  It's a very specific list of tests used to identify the amplitude and frequency of your perceived tinnitus.  For me, it took about two hours to conduct.

When I did my testing, they created a CD for me to listen to with pink noise on it.  White noise has sound from across the entire frequency spectrum.  Pink noise has specific frequencies, and it can help "null" your tinnitus for a period of time after listening to the CD.  Eventually you'll reach a point where it no longer works.  When that happens, the audiologist will usually recommend a hearing aid (or at least mine did).

I don't understand why everyone is rushing about to get prescribed a masker.  The old school of thought was that maskers (which introduce noise) provide relief through the day.  The new school of thought is that introducing noise to eliminate noise is just crazy talk (don't go into destructive interference, that's something different entirely).  My hearing aid acts like a masker in that it boosts the level of the ambient sound in the room above the level of my tinnitus, thus masking it.  It works quite well.  I don't notice tinnitus at night very much without the HA in.

My hearing aid (acting like a masker) was sufficient for VAC to grant the 10% rating for tinnitus.  You don't need to have hearing loss to have a tinnitus disability rating.  They're completely separate pensioned conditions.
 

BDTyre

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Absolutely. I filed for both and was approved for the maximum for tinnitus but reject altogether for hearing loss (I'd have to check the reason why). I never went with a masker or a hearing aid. I notice the tinnitus, but it doesn't keep me awake at night or distract me. When the ambient nose is loud enough, I don't even notice it.


Occam said:
I don't understand why everyone is rushing about to get prescribed a masker.  The old school of thought was that maskers (which introduce noise) provide relief through the day.  The new school of thought is that introducing noise to eliminate noise is just crazy talk (don't go into destructive interference, that's something different entirely).  My hearing aid acts like a masker in that it boosts the level of the ambient sound in the room above the level of my tinnitus, thus masking it.  It works quite well.  I don't notice tinnitus at night very much without the HA in.

My hearing aid (acting like a masker) was sufficient for VAC to grant the 10% rating for tinnitus.  You don't need to have hearing loss to have a tinnitus disability rating.  They're completely separate pensioned conditions.
 

reveng

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That's interesting. I was told that in order get to the maximum for Tinnitus, you had to get prescribed a masker. Then I was told that they don't prescribe maskers anymore?  ???
 

kev994

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I run a fan when I’m sleeping, works well and most hotels have them.
 

BDTyre

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standingdown said:
That's interesting. I was told that in order get to the maximum for Tinnitus, you had to get prescribed a masker. Then I was told that they don't prescribe maskers anymore?  ???

When I was going through the process/received my award in 2011 I was told if I wanted one, just to get the MIR to prescribe one and VAC will pay. But they also fully attributed my tinnitus to service (I was able to pinpoint to specific incidents). Maybe they've changed things?
 

slayer/raptor

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According to VAC website level 5 for tinnitus is “Continuous tinnitus, present all day and all night, affecting one or both ears, but does not require use of a masking device” while level 10 (max level) states “Continuous tinnitus, present all day and all night, every day, affecting one or both ears, and requires a masking device and/or prescribed medication”

Does it have to be an official masking device? Or does a constant fan or white noise maker while sleeping count as a masking device?

I just got diagnosed last week by the MD and audiologist as having tinnitus but no hearing loss. I’m nervous that only one of the two won’t be enough for VAC. If i read their documents well I would consider myself a level 5 tinnitus, but I always need a fan at night to mask out the tinnitus in order to sleep.


CanadianTire said:
Absolutely. I filed for both and was approved for the maximum for tinnitus but reject altogether for hearing loss (I'd have to check the reason why). I never went with a masker or a hearing aid. I notice the tinnitus, but it doesn't keep me awake at night or distract me. When the ambient nose is loud enough, I don't even notice it.
 

211RadOp

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I think, and this is just me, that the key phrase is "requires a masking device". I was told by the Tinnitus Clinic at Ottawa General that I needed one and that is what they put in my file, but I opted not to get one.  I was not happy with the Ottawa General as it seemed that is all she wanted to do, was sell items.
 

Jarnhamar

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Ive got pretty wicked Tinnitus with some hearing loss. I've had civilian an ENT specialist recommend hearing aids twice to attempt to counter the tinnitus but the CAF won't cover them unless it's for hearing loss specifically.

Army docs tell me to download an app for my cell phone and deal with it  :eek:rly:
 

lapinpunki

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Jarnhamar said:
Ive got pretty wicked Tinnitus with some hearing loss. I've had civilian an ENT specialist recommend hearing aids twice to attempt to counter the tinnitus but the CAF won't cover them unless it's for hearing loss specifically.

Army docs tell me to download an app for my cell phone and deal with it  :eek:rly:

That’s shitty! It makes a big difference when putting in your claim. 18k vs 37k is not a joke.
I find this process very dumb... It would still be worth it for you to just buy the heaing aids yourself and you would be able to get the benefit amount you truly deserve instead of settling for less because the military coverage isn’t as it should.

My question is still: could I need hearing aids for tinnitus even if I have no hearing loss 🤔 how do I know if I never try them? It’s so annoying lol 🙈
 
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Has anyone experienced something called "hidden hearing loss"?  Trouble hearing speech with background noise.

Two separate audiologists have indicated hearing loss but VAC won't acknowledge as the levels measured in the audiologists report don't meet the VAC standard / threshold.  Therefore VAC feels bad about the hearing loss but won't attribute it to military service despite military docs reports supporting hearing loss. 

Fighting it with BPA. 
 

lapinpunki

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How long were you guys in step 2 for? The waiting time on the website doesn’t come in effect until step 3 and I’ve been stuck in step 2 for weeks now...
 

kratz

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I used MyVAC to submit everything and Blue Cross paid for the Tinnitus / Hearing tests.

From Step 1 to a DA in my bank, my situation took 12 months.
 

bdcasey916

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I've been at step 2 for about 11 weeks now.  The call center basically tells me to take a number and get in line.  Typical VAC
 
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