Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 20, 2010

Progressive Tinnitus Management Program Opens in Phoenix-VA

While the idea of a National Center is welcomed, we suggest that every veteran read yesterdays post about the pinpointing of the cause of tinnitus to the brain and not the inner ear or hair cells as put forth in this article.

Full Article at: National clinic to assist vets coping with tinnitus
Hearing disorder one of biggest service-linked disabilities

November 19, 2010

BY PHILIP HALDIMAN

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Tinnitus, commonly known as noise or ringing in the ears, is a major health issue for soldiers returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, Veterans Administration hospital official say.

The condition was the most-claimed service-connected disability for veterans receiving compensation in fiscal year 2009-10, according to the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

The disorder can be the result of extreme noise exposure, such as that experienced by combat veterans, and is associated with hearing loss, also is a common complaint from veterans.

Because of increased patient demand, the audiology clinic at the Phoenix veterans hospital extended its daily hours from five to six days open each week. It also added staff.

In January, the hospital will launch a national tinnitus program called Progressive Tinnitus Management to help veterans with the disorder.

Audiologists and mental-health professionals will work together to help veterans manage their reaction to tinnitus.

The VA has been developing the program for five years using research literature, textbooks and clinical experience.

Tinnitus happens when hairs in the inner ear move in relation to entering sound waves. Then an electrical signal is sent from the ear to the brain.

Dr. Cathy Kurth, an audiology specialist at the Audiology and Hearing Aid Center in Scottsdale, said the brain interprets these signals as sound. If the hairs inside the inner ear are bent or broken, this could cause tinnitus. It involves the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present.

Kurth said there isn’t an effective surgery for tinnitus, so management is the best way to treat the condition. This can be done through aural rehabilitation and hearing aids.”

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