VFW Department of Illinois Service Office
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Hearing loss and tinnitus are a major issue with veterans. This is in part due to the circumstances and conditions of military service which by its nature exposed service members to acoustic trauma with little or no protection and in part due to the natural aging process. As we get older we are more sensitive to hearing loss and / or tinnitus which may have been present for many years.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are not presumptive. That means that for service connection to be granted the condition must either be diagnosed in service or there must be a medical opinion which establishes a relationship between the currently diagnosed condition to acoustic trauma in service as opposed to either acoustic trauma after service or the natural aging process.
Tinnitus, ringing in the ears, is a separate condition from hearing loss. Although they may share a common etiology service connection must be claimed separately and will be established separately if deemed appropriate.