Tinnitus is a commonly seen, poorly understood, and hard to treat symptom of ear disease. Tinnitus is caused by aberrant brain-ear circuitry. Tinnitus is the perception of noise in the absence of any corresponding sound source. It is usually perceived as a ringing, buzzing, humming, roaring, hissing, or whooshing sound. For some people the sounds come and go. However, many veterans experience theses sounds non-stop. Because of this constant disruption to life, mental health diagnoses can develop.
Suffering from tinnitus can be life altering. Poor sleep caused by tinnitus causes daytime crankiness that impacts your relationships with spouses/significant others, children, and friends. Work performance often declines if tinnitus causes problems with concentration and focus. All of this can lead to depression secondary to tinnitus. Major Depressive Disorder afflicts 49% of patients that have been diagnosed with tinnitus. Our psychiatrist will provide a detailed nexus letter that explains how your tinnitus symptoms have caused your depressive diagnosis.
At night hearing tinnitus makes falling and staying asleep difficult. If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep because of tinnitus, or if you awaken throughout the night because of tinnitus you likely suffer from Insomnia Disorder secondary to tinnitus. This mental health condition can be claimed secondary to tinnitus. We will complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine your sleep disorder diagnosis and if there is a link to your tinnitus.
During the day, tinnitus can make it difficult to communicate with others. Up to 90% of people with tinnitus have some level of noise-induced hearing loss. Many veterans describe being self-conscious or even paranoid when they are placed in positions where they cannot hear well due to tinnitus. There is also an association between tinnitus and panic attacks. Common anxiety conditions that develop secondary to tinnitus include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Unspecified Anxiety Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. Our psychiatrist will determine if you are suffering from an anxiety condition and if it is connected to your tinnitus.
A well written nexus letter will include citations to peer-reviewed medical journal articles. It is not enough to simply quote an article. The information must be applied to the veteran's particular medical case to describe how depression is secondary to tinnitus. Below are examples of some articles that can be useful when constructing a nexus letter: