US Department of Defense
Advancing Blast Injury Research to Protect and Heal Those Who Serve

International State-of-the-Science Meeting on Blast-Induced Tinnitus

Tinnitus and hearing loss are significant medical and cost issues for both the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – an average of 15,000 new cases of tinnitus were reported each year among active duty service members from 2007 to 2010. Additionally, tinnitus and hearing loss were the top service-connected disabilities in veterans receiving compensation in fiscal year 2011. In response to this issue, the DoD Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office (PCO), in collaboration with the DoD Hearing Center of Excellence (HCE) and the VA, hosted the International State-of-the-Science (SoS) Meeting on Blast-Induced Tinnitus on November 15-17, 2011, in Chantilly, Virginia. The participants focused on assessing current knowledge regarding the cause, diagnosis, treatment of tinnitus, and identifying research gaps for further investigation.

Purpose and Meeting Objectives

  • Identify the cause of tinnitus and determine its association, if any, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Determine if there are existing diagnostic tools that can be used to objectively identify tinnitus
  • Identify and prioritize the research gaps that exist in standardizing methods used in the treatment of tinnitus

Questions for Discussion

The meeting participants were charged with answering the following questions during the working group sessions:

  • What are the current theories concerning the neurobiological basis of tinnitus?
  • Is there substantial evidence that tinnitus is associated with PTSD and TBI? If so, what are the common biomarkers?
  • What are the current technological approaches to tinnitus diagnosis?
  • How can research standardize methods of effective tinnitus treatment?
Last modified: 18-Jun-2019