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Hearing Loss In The Military

HEARING LOSS IN THE MILITARY: THE WIDESPREAD PROBLEM NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT %D HEARING LOSS Hearing loss is caused by permanent damage to some of the 17,000 hair cells we are born with in the human ear. Damaged hair cells cannot grow back. Exposure to sounds 140 decibels and higher can cause immediate and permanent hearing damage. HEARING LOSS & THE MILITARY The most-widespread injury for returning veterans has been hearing loss, not the more commonly known issues like PTSD, lost limbs, and traumatic brain injury. As of 2014 more than 400,000 veterans o£ U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and/or Iraq report experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus or both. Hearing loss and tinnitus are currently the top two most compensated disabilities in the Veterans Benefits Association. #1 Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a ringing sound. #2 970,000 414,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have filed disability claims with the VA as of March, 2014. post-9/11 veterans have not been able to claim or receive disability for hearing loss. The incidents of hearing loss among veterans is rising by 13-18% per year. Number of veterans returning from Iraq and/or Afghanistan receiving disability payment for tinnitus and hearing loss. The VA spent an estimated $1.39 billion in disability payments for major auditory disabilities in 2010. At the current rate of increase, the VA anticipates that hearing related payouts will reach more 70,000 Tinnitus than $2 billion by 2016. Army veterans report the highest rate of hearing loss among the military's branches, with 50% reporting some hearing loss by the age of fifty. are followed by members of the Air Force at 42%, and Navy at 37%. 58,000 Hearing Loss They 37% 42% 50% Among the few professions that rank higher than the military for hearing loss are construction and mining at 60% each. "ORCE U.S.ARMY HISTORY In the early 1940s the U.S. Army conducted a survey which ultimately concluded that gun crews, gunnery instructors, and others regularly exposed to gunfire should be provided with protective earplugs as a part of their standard kit, but their use was not required. Before WWII, hearing loss in the U.Ss. military was thought to be preventable with enough exposure to noise. Wearing protective ear coverings and ear plugs was seen as a sign of weakness. The development of the jet engine at the end of WWII prompted more studies of hearing loss in the military, especially as the Air Force became its own branch of the military. In the mid-1960s, the army implemented specialists whose primary role was to study hearing damage in the military. Good Hearing Target Located: 40 seconds Bad Hearing Target Located: 90 seconds 50-60% of situational awareness is based on a person's hearing. With good hearing, it takes a soldier approximately 40 seconds to identify a target. With bad hearing, it takes approximately 90 seconds to identify a target. CAUSES An estimated 7 out of 10 cases of Roadside bombs result in 50% of the hearing loss and/or tinnitus experienced by veterans are caused by blasts. veterans involved typically having some form of hearing damage. Since 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs requires a hearing examination for veterans based on their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). There are three levels of noise exposure: LOw, MODERATE, and HIGH. The level of noise exposure is based off each veteran's MOS. MODERATE HIGH LOW MOS: Diver MOS: Plumber MOS: Infantry Men Quietest Military Gear & Equipment Kiowa Helicopter Abrams Tank 101dB 93-117dB M-16 Rifle M26 Grenade 145dB 164dB Take a look at this chart to see the noises that military personnel endure compared to common noises that we all might hear. Fireworks 162 dB (at 3 ft) Rock concert Airplane take off 130 dB 140 dB M9 Handgun Javelin m3 Recoilless Rifle 157 dB 159.9-172.3dB 190dB (depending on position of gunner) Sustained exposure to engine noise can be just as damaging to hearing as an IED blast. A vehicle idling at 85dB is loud enough that it can cause permanent damage after only an eight hour work day. 2.5 Ton Truck 72-97 dB PREVENTION • Dr. Cherukuri recommends veterans schedule an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician or audiologist to determine if they have hearing loss caused by their military service. • It is also recommended that veterans take preventative measures during their civilian activities, such as using ear plugs while mowing the lawn. Sources php MDHearingAid

Hearing Loss In The Military

shared by t1handy on Apr 27
The brings to light the most common injury encountered by military veterans, hearing damage. It outlines some of the biggest factors of hearing loss and why our veterans are at such a high risk.



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