If you had to take a guess, what would you consider to be the number one service injury for combat veterans coming home?
Surprisingly enough, it is not PTSD, loss of limbs, or traumatic brain injuries caused by shell shock. It’s hearing loss and tinnitus — and more than 2 million veterans are suffering from this ailment every single day. Experts believe that this disability stems from the intense noise combat soldiers are exposed to every day; tanks, heavy equipment, explosions, gunfire and loud aircraft.
Tinnitus is especially painful to live with as the affected hear a continuous buzzing, ringing or hissing in the ear that can make concentrating or sleeping almost impossible. Hearing loss isn’t an isolated problem, it has been known to cause a devastating impact in the life of many veterans nationwide. When a veteran suffers from hearing loss or tinnitus, it is all too common for them to experience social isolation, depression, and/or cognitive decline.
Luckily, there are many resources available to veterans who may be suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus. Not only has the U.S. military implemented a practice to ensure mandatory hearing protection for active duty soldiers, nationwide VA medical clinics offer a variety of hearing support and treatment.
There is also the ability for legal action; if you or a veteran you know has suffered from hearing loss during active service, Hill and Ponton Disability Attorneys have created a hearing disability calculator to help you determine your qualifications for a lawsuit.