Citation Nr: 18131237
Decision Date: 08/31/18	Archive Date: 08/31/18

DOCKET NO. 14-42 290
DATE:	August 31, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for left ear hearing loss is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from June 1971 to June 1975.
Entitlement to service connection for left ear hearing loss is remanded.
The Veteran has argued that his left ear showed a threshold shift while in service.  His May 1971 entrance examination shows that he entered service with a 15-decibel loss at 500 Hertz.  In hearing tests conducted in August 1972 and February 1974, he showed a 30-decibel loss at 500 Hertz.  At separation, he only showed a 20-decibel loss at 500 Hertz.  The examiner did not provide any opinion regarding this threshold shift.  On remand, another examination and opinion should be obtained.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Schedule the Veteran for an appropriate examination for an opinion on whether it is as likely as not (50/50 probability or better) that left ear hearing loss is related to his service.
The Veteran asserts his left ear hearing showed a significant threshold shift while in service.  His STRs do show a shift between in the 500 Hertz range between May 1971 and August 1972, which was maintained at a hearing test in February 1974.  In January 1975, he complained of having left ear pain for the preceding six months, and was diagnosed with otitis externa. 
The examiner is asked to comment on the shift in the 500 Hertz range, and that it lasted for over a year.  The examiner is also asked to consider whether the ear infection in service caused any hearing impairment.      
The examiner is also asked to provide an opinion on whether it is as likely as not that his left ear hearing loss is caused or aggravated by his right ear hearing loss.  (“Aggravation” means to cause any increase in severity that is beyond the normal progression of the disability.)
 
The examiner is asked to review the relevant evidence prior to opining and to consider the Veteran’s statements regarding his symptoms.  The examiner is asked to provide explanatory rationale for all opinions.  
 
Nathaniel J. Doan
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	A. Gibson

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