VA Disability for Ear Conditions
What Types of Ear Conditions?
Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to vertigo and hearing loss. Usually, only one ear is affected and the hearing loss eventually can be permanent.
Meniere’s is a progressive disease, which means it grows worse over time. Symptoms of the condition include the following:
- Recurring episodes of vertigo. A spinning sensation that starts and stops spontaneously; occurs without warning and usually last 20 minutes to several hours.
- Hearing Loss
- A perception of ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling, or hissing sound in the ear.
- Feeling of Fullness in the Ear.
Along with the main symptoms, some people may have:
- Blurry Vision
- Nausea or Diarrhea
- Cold Sweat or Rapid Pulse
Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance. Vertigo is often caused by an inner ear problem and triggered by a change in the position of the head. People with vertigo typically describe it as feeling like they are:
- Pulled to one direction
Other symptoms that may come with vertigo include:
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
A ruptured eardrum is a tear in the thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the inner ear. A ruptured eardrum can result in hearing loss and can make the middle ear vulnerable to infections. Symptoms may include the following:
- Ear pain that may subside quickly
- Mucus like, pus filled or bloody drainage from your ear
- Hearing loss
- Nausea or vomiting
A perilymphatic fistula is a tear in either one of the membranes separating the middle and inner ear. Symptoms of a perilymphatic fistula can include:
- A feeling of fullness in your ear
- Sudden hearing loss
- Hearing loss that comes and goes
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Persistent, mild nausea
- Memory loss
- Motion sickness
Acoustic Neuroma is a noncancerous and slow growing tumor that develops on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. This nerve directly influences balance and hearing and pressure from an acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and unsteadiness.
How to Get VA Disability Rating?
In order to receive VA disability benefits for ear conditions it first must be proven that the ear condition is the result of the veteran’s active duty military service. For direct service connection, the following three elements must be established: (1) a current, diagnosed ear condition; (2) an in-service event that may have caused or contributed to their ear condition; and (3) a medical link between the in-service event and the ear condition.
How Does the VA Rate Ear Conditions?
The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing
In September 2010, the VA published “The Duty MOS Noise Exposure Listing”. This is a list for VA rating officials to use to determine whether a veteran’s hearing loss or ear condition could be service-connected even if it developed more than a year after discharge.
The list goes through every military occupational specialty (MOS) and rates it according to the likelihood of that MOS being exposed to noise that could result in long-term hearing impairments. If the rating is moderate or high, then the VA is supposed to grant serve connection.
When this list was published it was considered a suggestion for rating officials to follow when making determinations. However, the VA no longer has it officially published but it is still the standard used by rating officials when deciding on hearing loss and ear condition claims based on MOS noise exposure.
Bosley & Bratch have been supporting veterans in getting the benefits they deserve since 1995. If you or a loved one served, and suffer from an ear condition, we are here to help. Call Bosley & Bratch at (727) 274-9227 or complete our free veterans benefits case evaluation form.