Brain Center TMS Now Offers TMS Treatment for Veterans with Tinnitus

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Brain Center TMS, a mental health treatment center in San Diego, has begun helping veterans treat their tinnitus through insurance-covered Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as TMS.

Brain Center TMS, a mental health treatment center in San Diego, is now helping veterans treat their tinnitus through insurance-covered Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as TMS.

According to Military.com, tinnitus affects at least one in every 10 American adults. And, it is the number one disability among veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that there were 993,000 veterans in 2014 claimed disability from hearing loss and 1.3 million claimed disability for tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a disability where the victim hears ringing in one or both ears. It falls under two categories. The first being subjective tinnitus, whereby only the sufferer can hear the noise. The second being objective tinnitus, where the noise can be in the middle ear heard by an examiner.

Veterans are often affected by tinnitus because of what they experienced while in service. Loud gunfire, machinery, and aircraft noise military personnel are exposed to can lead to both hearing loss and tinnitus.

In 2018, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) at the VA Portland Health Care System developed the Progressive Tinnitus Management program to help nearly 2 million veterans with tinnitus. In this plan, NCRAR lists TMS under their “First Approach: Eliminate Tinnitus or Reduce its Loudness.”

Before TMS, there were not many effective treatments for subjective tinnitus. Symptoms have historically been treated with prescription drugs and psychological approaches. In rare cases, surgery has been one approach for objective tinnitus.

Improvements and research in TMS technology have allowed scientists and doctors to treat tinnitus with a well-tolerated procedure. Though TMS is not a popular treatment at the moment, facilities like Brain Center TMS have been leading the push for a newer approach to tinnitus as well as other disabilities.

Brain Center TMS in San Diego has been providing inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment since 2005. They have seen TMS therapy become an effective approach for ailments such as treatment-resistant depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Because it is a newer treatment, many popular insurance providers only cover TMS in certain circumstances. However, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) issued TRICARE insurance that covers many military veterans now covers TMS for tinnitus as well as other conditions.

Brain Center TMS claims that many of their tinnitus patients who have received TMS see significant improvement in their symptoms. Outside research points to similar results.

Research center JAMA Otolaryngology published a randomized clinical trial on 64 veterans with tinnitus. Thirty-two veterans received 10 sessions of TMS, while the other 32 received fake TMS treatment.

In the study, 56 percent of the veterans who received real TMS saw significant improvement while only 22 percent of those who received the fake TMS saw improvement.

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