How Does Veterans Affairs Test for Tinnitus? | VA Disability for Tinnitus | theSITREP

and then tinnitus or tinnitus depending on which doctor i speak absolutely and they're both fine um we you know again i speak from experience i've had that for years and years and for me it's like sitting inside that audiology booth that's the noise i mean there's times when i'm sitting there thinking that's what i'm doing is taking the test again or when i'm in the test sometimes it's like oh is that the real one or am i yes oh yes yeah we hear that all the time and you all work with that stuff too we work with that stuff too um so within the va there's a program called progressive tinnitus management which is a couple of classes that you come to you learn a lot about it and then you learn strategies for coping there are certain pieces of equipment that we can help with the the bad news about tinnitus is we can't fix it the what we do is we try and cover it up or distract you from it in some other way sometimes it's as simple as turning on a fan yeah a little white noise a little white noise a little white noise people say i do much better in the summer because the air conditioner is loud you know um things like that if it gets really bad there are devices that we can give you either noise generators or you know fancy things built into the pillow to help you sleep at night some people will even wear a device that looks like a hearing aid that puts a different sound in your ear a lot of hearing aids are both at this point they're amplifiers and they're maskers that's the word we used to describe them so you can flip to a different program and get yourself some relief and it is it's it's relief and you're right because it's if i you know in the military of course your noise level is at 10 right uh you get out it may be down to a four or five and and that's when you know i whenever i talk to people we're doing outreach and we're talking to veterans i always ask you have any of that ringing and buzzing in your ears like oh i i i don't i got i no it's a yes or no question you know only on tuesday nights when i'm watching say jack and vanna or you know it's like stop give me a straight answer and it's always almost always yes i do and and it's sometimes and and because of experience i i tell them you know look at that's how it is usually you know the when the noise levels up you may not notice it's still there probably you just don't notice it like i said it's mad it's still there yeah yeah when we're talking to them i'll say to them okay do you feel like it's there all the time and you just don't notice it when it's noisy or does it actually start and stop and for some people it does you know they only get it once a week you know and so and they'll say yep it starts i don't know why and it goes for a half hour [Music] three hours and then it stops i don't know why and for some people it's not disruptive for their sleep yeah you can't get to sleep because and again you're in a very quiet spot typically absolutely you're trying to fall asleep and all of a sudden you've got you've got this noise in your ear which and it could be and that's it's a funny thing when the the guys come in from the compensation evals i should say guys and gals they come in for the compensation evals and we ask them the questions and we'll say when did it start and they'll say well you know when i was in iraq it was so noisy that it probably was there but i just didn't hear it it was when i got home that i noticed it and so it it's absolutely true that you're the it's usually a kind of a squishy answer when you start well i think people get nervous answering it because they're like oh am i gonna disqualify myself or am i gonna am i lying you know what am i doing here so i think yeah exactly it's very common and one of the questions we get asked often is what what test is there that so so that's an interesting question so we don't actually test for it we do a hearing test and that tells us a lot about what's going on in the ear because the ringing or buzzing or hissing or whatever sound you hear is caused by the damaged ear so what's happening your ear is telling your brain there's a sound when there isn't one because it's not working properly you can have tinnitus without a whole lot of hearing loss you can have it even with normal hearing if you've been in noisy environments but it's you know we can figure out why you might have it we don't actually test for it because it's subjective there is no testing i can't look in there and just see it i don't see it and i don't hear it and that's the conversation again i have with veterans we we do outreach we we go into the community we're talking to veterans and and we get into these conversations especially yeah and and that's what they want oftentimes like well how do they know if i have they it's through the questions that we asked and and throughout the questions that's how we'll find out and in your honesty to simply tell us that you heard i hear something yeah and it i could still remember and it was long after i'd gotten out of the navy even but i was doing something one day and i started looking around the room and my wife was just staring at me like what is your problem i said you don't hear that she's like what i'm like it's just it's a noise and it was she goes it's you i'm like oh okay sorry i'm gonna go up to the va i think and get checked out and see if i can figure out what's going on but it is sort of i mean and and there's different types of noises for people different types of noises it's an interesting thing that some some of them will come in and they'll say well you know when i was getting out the the guy said you got any ringing in your ears and i said no because what i hear is a buzz and so you know it's that we i try and say when i ask the question i try and say to them do you hear any sounds that you shouldn't hear and that brings out oh yeah i've got this clicking i've got this buzzing i've got this whatever yeah so there are there's various yep different types of sounds each individual has absolutely yeah you have questions we have answers the sitrep is your trusted source for veterans benefits information with expert analysis and interviews with leaders from the field to find past shows podcasts and other content search hashtag the sitrep on youtube

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