Thursday, July 28, 2011



TBI, Vets, Dementia...and Tinnitus too

Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, for short, is the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We hear that statement a lot. So much that we become a bit immune to what it may often entail and accompany. But troops returning from those theaters of operation don't have the same luxury. A very high percentage have suffered some degree of TBI and the effects will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Just last week, it was reported that returning active-duty personnel may have a twenty percent chance of developing tinnitus, a condition typically thought of as solely a hearing impairment, but which may also involve a disorganization of the brain and the brain's attempt to counter-balance hearing loss with the introduction of a constantly heard (it never goes away) tone or signal. The effects of tinnitus can be mentally devastating. It can cause anxiety and depression (if you think about it, how could it not?) and can destroy an individual's capacity to perform work which requires a persistent level of attention and concentration.

In 2008, the Veterans Administration reported that 70,000 vets suffered from tinnitus. I have absolutely no doubt that those numbers have increased substantially since then, and will continue to increase over the years.

Last week it was also reported that by Dr. Kristin Yaffe, who directs the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA, presented the findings of a study which found that returning vets may be predisposed to developing dementia in later life. This is in line with research that finds that severe head injuries can result in the onset of dementia many years, even decades, later.

My own mother suffers from dementia and so I can relate firsthand with how difficult life will be for the families of affected vets in future years. Providing care for a relative who has even mild dementia in the attempt to avoid (or put off as long as possible) the last resort, a nursing home facility, can pose extraordinary demands upon a family, demands that are physical, mental, emotional, and, of course, financial.

Twenty-two percent of all casualties suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan involve Traumatic Brain Injury and vets 55 years of age or older may have double the risk of dementia as a result of a prior injury.





Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog




Other Posts


How to get approved for SSI disability
How is my social security disability benefit calculated ?
Can you receive Social Security Disability (aka SSDI and SSD) and SSI also ?
Do you have to be totally permanently disabled to get social security disability or ssi ?
Social Security Disability--Permanent Disability
What to do after a Disability Claim is Denied
Mental Disorders and SSD (Social Security Disability) and SSI
Social Security Disability Requirements
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
Children and Child Disability Claims
If you get Denied, File Your Social Security Disability Appeal Quickly
Is it worth appealing a Social Security Disability denial by an Administrative Law Judge?
Denial on a disability application - What comes next?
Social Security Disability SSI: What is an on the record decision ?
Can you get temporary Social Security disability or SSI benefits?
Appealing at the social security reconsideration step
Should You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security ?
Trying to Win Disability
Can I win my disability case ?
How Can I Win My Social Security Disability Case?
Steps to Win Social Security Disability
Can I win disability if I don't have health insurance and don't go to the doctor ?
Getting Social Security Disability Benefits
Which Disability Cases are Harder to Win?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jaynie Wilton said...

"In 2008, the Veterans Administration reported that 70,000 vets suffered from tinnitus"
Yes, and also a potentially debilitating ringing in the ears, and more than 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss, the VA said. Sad to know..

7:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home