The PTSD Patient in the Audiology Clinic

Document Type


Publication Date



Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is associated with enduring and profound impairments affecting emotional stability and the ability to perform fundamental activities. In our VA tinnitus clinic population, more than 35% of the patients carry the diagnosis. Perhaps of greater concern, PTSD is generally acknowledged to be substantially underreported among children (Herman, 1997). Individuals with PTSD experience disruptions to a variety of life functions, intrusive memories, and other powerful symptoms. Functional and emotional consequences of trauma are measured using a variety of handicap scales, and several physiological measures such as EEG and EKG are altered by the effects of trauma. Additionally, fMRI and PET scans reveal enduring changes to neural structures such as the hippocampus following exposure to traumatic events (Bremner, 2002).

In this eAudiology Web seminar, we will stress that PTSD should be viewed as a psychological injury; the trauma-provoked physiologic changes that influence not only an individual's to function, but also their ability to obtain benefit from medical care. This presentation will also review the history of the PTSD diagnosis and identify specific elements of the injury that are of significance to audiologists.

This document is currently not available here.