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Research On Meniere's Disease


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#1 68mustang

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:41 AM

Berta

I have been doing research on the internet about Meniere's disease. I have found some medical abstracts and reports that state what causes it and some state that the causes are unknown. I don't know much about medical treatises, but are medical abstracts and reports considered treatises?

Acoustic trauma is stated in some of the abstracts and reports as a cause of Meniere's Disease. There is a book that states one of the causes of Meniere's Disease is acoustic trauma.

I am already rated at 10% for tinnitus, which was diagnosed as having been caused by acoustic trauma while working both in US Navy ships' boiler rooms and engine rooms.
How can this information be used if my claim is denied for hearing loss and Meniere's Disease, which were diagnosed by the exam specialist contracted by the VA. If anyone else has any input to provide please do so. Thanks.
68mustang

#2 Berta

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

Medical treatises and abstracts are basically the same thing- the abstracts are usually a condensed version of a treatise.

I would think with your MOS (as long as the VA understands how this put you into acoustical trauma) would certainly make them consider an award for hearing loss if there is no other possible etiology and that the Meneriere's could be rated as SC as well.But I am assuming that there is someting in your SMRs or discharge certificate to support the claim you have.

Then again this vet was denied for hearing loss in this lengthy BVA case-
he also had Meniere's too.

His Discharge Physical revealed no hearing problems and apparently his SMRs didnt either:
http://www.va.gov/ve...es1/0706913.txt

In part:

"The veteran submitted an August 1994 report for the Social
Security Administration (SSA), from a private ENT doctor,
M.B, M.D. Dr. M.B. reported that the veteran appeared to
suffer from Meniere's disease that resulted in a disabling
bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and a fluctuating type
of dizziness. Dr. M.B. indicated that the veteran had 80 to
90 percent hearing impairment, and that he first succeeded
the threshold (presumably SSA's threshold) of hearing
impairment in March 1993, and that his hearing had worsened
since that time. The veteran claimed in a letter received in
April 1997 that Dr. M.B.'s findings were rendered exclusively
from VA medical records."

and


"In November 1997, the same ear disease examiner who conducted
the VA examination in December 1996, rendered an addendum.
The VA examiner noted that the claims file was made available
a week prior to the date of the dictated report. The
examiner noted that the limited service medical records made
no mention of hearing loss, tinnitus or inner ear
difficulties, and that the January 1957 examination whispered
voice and the audiometer recording indicated normal hearing.
he examiner stated that while it was reasonable to argue that
the amount and type of noise exposure the veteran experienced
in service might have resulted in some hearing loss or
tinnitus, it was in no way imaginable that the experience
would relate to his later progression of hearing loss and
tinnitus, and the presently described balance difficulties.
It was the examiner's conclusion that, based upon the service
record, the veteran's present difficulties could not be
causally related to his period of active military service."

Denied-this just goes to show how adversarial the VA can be.

The veteran was an AAA gun mechanic and obviously exposed to inservice acoustical trauma.He had internet abstracts and buddy statements but the BVA held that nothing appearded at all in his SMRs for HL (or Menieres) and denied the claim.

#3 68mustang

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

Medical treatises and abstracts are basically the same thing- the abstracts are usually a condensed version of a treatise.

I would think with your MOS (as long as the VA understands how this put you into acoustical trauma) would certainly make them consider an award for hearing loss if there is no other possible etiology and that the Meneriere's could be rated as SC as well.But I am assuming that there is someting in your SMRs or discharge certificate to support the claim you have.

Then again this vet was denied for hearing loss in this lengthy BVA case-
he also had Meniere's too.

His Discharge Physical revealed no hearing problems and apparently his SMRs didnt either:
http://www.va.gov/ve...es1/0706913.txt

In part:

"The veteran submitted an August 1994 report for the Social
Security Administration (SSA), from a private ENT doctor,
M.B, M.D. Dr. M.B. reported that the veteran appeared to
suffer from Meniere's disease that resulted in a disabling
bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and a fluctuating type
of dizziness. Dr. M.B. indicated that the veteran had 80 to
90 percent hearing impairment, and that he first succeeded
the threshold (presumably SSA's threshold) of hearing
impairment in March 1993, and that his hearing had worsened
since that time. The veteran claimed in a letter received in
April 1997 that Dr. M.B.'s findings were rendered exclusively
from VA medical records."

and


"In November 1997, the same ear disease examiner who conducted
the VA examination in December 1996, rendered an addendum.
The VA examiner noted that the claims file was made available
a week prior to the date of the dictated report. The
examiner noted that the limited service medical records made
no mention of hearing loss, tinnitus or inner ear
difficulties, and that the January 1957 examination whispered
voice and the audiometer recording indicated normal hearing.
he examiner stated that while it was reasonable to argue that
the amount and type of noise exposure the veteran experienced
in service might have resulted in some hearing loss or
tinnitus, it was in no way imaginable that the experience
would relate to his later progression of hearing loss and
tinnitus, and the presently described balance difficulties.
It was the examiner's conclusion that, based upon the service
record, the veteran's present difficulties could not be
causally related to his period of active military service."

Denied-this just goes to show how adversarial the VA can be.

The veteran was an AAA gun mechanic and obviously exposed to inservice acoustical trauma.He had internet abstracts and buddy statements but the BVA held that nothing appearded at all in his SMRs for HL (or Menieres) and denied the claim.


Thanks Berta for the response.
The veteran really got the short end of the stick. If I read it correctly none of the veterans' personal medical providers stated that his problems were more likely than not caused by his military service. The VA did everything possible to evade the issue of service connection by using his recreation gunfire exposure .

The following web site has the report on the congressionally mandated study by the Institute of Medicine assessed noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus associated with military service from World War II to the present, the effects of noise on hearing, and the availability of audiometric testing data for active duty personnel.

It states that whisper tests were not reliable to assess hearing loss yet the VA
will use the military services administration of whisper test to say a veteran had no hearing loss at separation. There is a lot of info in the report, which can be read for free.
68mustang


http://www.nap.edu/c...record_id=11443

#4 mitchell3006

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:16 AM

68,

I resently got my rating for Peripheral Vestibular Disorder at 30%. The rater based it on an ENT C&P stating that it was related to SC acoustic trama. C&P doc says no Meniere's based on range of frequency for hearing loss. Regular ENT says possible Meniere's. The 30% rating is top for PVD but is an accurate reflection of the disability to me so I left it there. I could probably fight to have it rated as analogous to Meniere's for a higher rating but in my case I don't feel that is warranted.

The link between acoustic trama and Meniere's is a little tenuous right now. ENTs argue both ways. Good Luck to you and if I find anything that looks handy I will post it.

Mark

#5 68mustang

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:23 PM

68,

I resently got my rating for Peripheral Vestibular Disorder at 30%. The rater based it on an ENT C&P stating that it was related to SC acoustic trama. C&P doc says no Meniere's based on range of frequency for hearing loss. Regular ENT says possible Meniere's. The 30% rating is top for PVD but is an accurate reflection of the disability to me so I left it there. I could probably fight to have it rated as analogous to Meniere's for a higher rating but in my case I don't feel that is warranted.

The link between acoustic trama and Meniere's is a little tenuous right now. ENTs argue both ways. Good Luck to you and if I find anything that looks handy I will post it.

Mark


Thanks mitchell3006 for responding. I have to wait to see what the VA's QTC contract specialist notes in his report. After the examination he stated that I had Meniere's Disease, but did not state whether it was or not cause by the type of military job I did. I am rated for tinnitus at 10%.
There are medical abstracts that state that the cause of Meniere's is unknown and then there are some that state acoustic trauma is the cause. Some state that Meniere's may develop many years after exposure to acoustic trauma. There are also VA decisions where veterans have been awarded compensation for Meniere's that began many years after military service because of the jobs that they did in the military. Plus there are also many where compensattion has been denied because Meniere's did not show up until many years later.
The web site that I put in my earlier post has very good info about noise and military service. And how noise can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus many years later after exposure to noise in the military.
I will continue to post info on hearing loss,tinnitus, and Meniere's Disease that I find that could be helpful. Thanks again.
68mustang