For service men and women there are many dangers faced on a daily basis. Quite a lot of these dangers we know about because of media outlets and reports giving us information on what they go through. However the rate of hearing loss and chronic tinnitus in returning solders, while having been a problem for quite sometime, is just beginning to garner some attention. While it would seem intuitive that these men and women would suffer from these issues it has gone virtually unspoken of on a large scale.
The environments that the military personnel have to be in create serious noise induced hearing loss. The sound from jets, engine rooms on ships, tanks, gun fire, explosions from enemy fire all are at decibel levels well above what is needed to create hearing loss. Due to the overwhelming number of people who have started reporting this hearing loss and chronic tinnitus studies have begun to try to track and monitor how severe of a problem this truly is and how it furthers the effect of PTSD.
Recently former Army infantryman Stephen Carlson wrote in an article for the Washington Post describing his experience with hearing loss from his time deployed.
In a recent study by Journal of General Internal Medicine is was found that “16.4 to 26.6 percent of male veterans of the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War seeking Veterans Affairs (VA) care suffer from serious hearing loss and tinnitus. That same study found 7.3 to 13.4 percent of female veterans had hearing loss.”
In August 2013 News 21 covered the amount of hearing loss in post 9/11 veterans and discovered “414,000 have come home with hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. The most-widespread injury for veterans has been hearing loss and other auditory complications, according to interviews and benefits data. Hearing maladies cost more than $1.4 billion in veterans disability payments annually, according to fiscal year 2010 data from the Hearing Center of Excellence, a part of the Department of Defense.”
We have all heard about the dangers of PTSD when our solders return home but we don’t think about how this hearing loss furthers the effects of it. Hearing loss creates an even greater feeling of isolation and disconnection from everyone around you. This makes getting back to a normal daily life that much more challenging. Luckily with the advent of smaller digital hearing aids and tone generated tinnitus management programs available in a variety of units, hearing loss and chronic tinnitus can be reduced helping eliminate stress and frustration to our service men and women without the worry of wearing something bulky and overly visible.
At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ we our proud of our military personnel and carry a large array of hearing aid units that can improve this noise induced hearing loss and chronic tinnitus. If you are experiencing these problems call us today at 772-286-4327 for your FREE comprehensive hearing and tinnitus screening by our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.