Veterans face a lot of challenges from working around loud and sudden noise sources. The most obvious example, of course, is the report from a firearm, but that’s certainly not the only issue. They also work around machines, vehicles, jet engines, explosions and much more. Those who see combat may find themselves exposed to extensive noise that they have no way to avoid.
As a result, one of the most common ailments that veterans face upon returning home is hearing loss. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 1,00,000 veterans had hearing loss that was bad enough that they were getting compensation for it. At the same time, an even greater number (1.3 million) suffered from the high-pitched ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.
On top of that, veterans may have trouble understanding what other people are saying, even when their hearing tests come back with very normal results. They could have a condition that has been linked to blast exposure, known as auditory processing disorder. They can still hear, but the trouble they have processing the words may make them feel as though they cannot.
When people think about health issues for veterans, they often think about physical issues like missing limbs. These reports show that even the issues that outsiders cannot see cause serious problems for veterans when they get back to the United States, and it is important not to overlook these concerns.
If you are suffering from hearing loss or any other issues after serving your country, make sure you are well aware of your legal rights.