Did You Know Migraines Can Be a Secondary Claim to Tinnitus?

| Heidi H.

As a veteran, you may experience multiple health conditions that can affect your overall quality of life. Tinnitus is one of the most common conditions experienced by veterans, and it can have a significant impact on hearing and overall health. But did you know that tinnitus can also be a contributing factor to another common condition among veterans: migraines?

In this blog post, we will explore the link between tinnitus and migraines, the symptoms of migraines, how to get a proper diagnosis, and the steps you can take to get the VA disability benefits you deserve.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition where a person hears ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in their ears that are not present in the external environment. It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and it can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life.

Tinnitus is prevalent among veterans, especially those who have been exposed to loud noise during their military service. Exposure to loud noise can cause damage to the auditory system, leading to tinnitus. This damage can be caused by gunfire, explosions, aircraft noise, and other types of loud noises.

Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines are a severe type of headache that can cause intense pain and other symptoms. They are often characterized by a throbbing pain on one side of the head, but they can occur on both sides. Migraines can last for several hours or even days, and they can be triggered by various factors, including stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, and certain foods.

In addition to the severe pain, migraines can cause other symptoms, including:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the face or limbs

Link Between Tinnitus and Migraines

Studies have shown that there is a link between tinnitus and migraines. In fact, many veterans who experience tinnitus also report experiencing migraines. This link is thought to be due to the way that tinnitus affects the brain.

Tinnitus causes the brain to be in a state of hyperactivity, which can lead to increased sensitivity to stimuli, including light, sound, and even changes in weather. This hyperactivity can trigger migraines in some individuals, leading to severe pain and other symptoms.

Diagnosing Migraines

If you are experiencing symptoms of migraines, it is essential to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Your healthcare provider will typically conduct a physical exam and review your medical history to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. They may also order additional tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to rule out other medical conditions.

To be diagnosed with migraines, you must have experienced at least five episodes of headaches lasting between 4-72 hours. Your headaches must have at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Throbbing or pulsating pain
  • Moderate to severe pain intensity
  • Aggravation by physical activity
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Getting VA Disability Benefits for Migraines

If you are a veteran who experiences migraines as a result of tinnitus, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. To qualify for VA disability benefits, you must have a current diagnosis of migraines, and your migraines must be linked to your military service.

To establish a link between your migraines and your military service, you will need to provide medical evidence that supports your claim. This evidence can include:

  • Medical records that document your migraines and their symptoms; and
  • Lay Statements from family members, friends, or coworkers who have witnessed your migraines.

How the VA rates Migraines?

The VA rates Migraines based upon the frequency, severity and duration of the episodes.

0%:    Migraines occur less than once a month on average.

10%:  Migraines occur at least once a month on average, with or without aura.

30%:  Migraines occur at least once a week on average, with or without aura, and requiring the use of medication for control.

50%:   Very frequent completely prostrating and prolonged attacks productive of severe economic inadaptability.

If you need assistance in pursuing your migraines claim or have any queries regarding your current rating for migraines, do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers for a thorough case review.


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