Lately, the military has been compelled to intensify its efforts to guard the troops from noise as it has been a plaguing actuality that soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back home in huge numbers with ringing in their ears or even permanent loss of hearing which is a sad fate. Some experts declare that hearing injury is the first disability in the war on terror to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and sadly it might take so many decades before the true ramifications are defined. Practically 70,000 of the more than one million three hundred thousand more or less troops who have served in the two war zones are collecting disability for tinnitus, a potentially incapacitating ringing in the ears, and 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss as well, sadly. Many people are shocked with the numbers. The use of the insurgency of an extremely fearsome weapon the Pentagon did not fully anticipate which is powerful roadside bombs is one of the biggest explanations. Their blasts cause violent changes in air pressure that can rupture the eardrum and break bones inside the ear.
Also, much of the fighting consists of ambushes, bombings and firefights, which come suddenly and unexpectedly, giving soldiers no time to use their military issued hearing protection. I need to put my ear plugs first, can you wait is something that the soldiers there cannot say. Moreover, many of these great servicemen on watch repudiate the use of such earplugs for fear of dulling their sense of hearing inevitably missing important sounds that truly matter in their duties and mission. It is sad that some, on the other hand, forgot to bring their earplugs before flying off to the war zone while the rest were simply not given any.
It was shared by this former serviceman that the raging war noises remain with him after more than 4 years after the synchronized explosion of 3 terrorizing roadside bombs right near the area of Baghdad. All I could remember was how the ringing in my ears were and it was funny how I did not even feel my leg gone when the bomb went off, he shares. His leg, right under his knee, got blown off in the fateful year of 2003. This man shares that even as he has a prosthetic leg which is as good as new, the awful ringing in his ears are still there.
Sixty percent of US personnel exposed to blasts suffer from permanent hearing loss, and 49 percent also suffer from tinnitus, according to military audiology reports. From complete, total deafness or a firm and loud ringing that destroys the ability of a person to focus, and then down to lighter ones such as the inability to hear whispers or low pitches are basically the degrees of the hearing failure. Sadly, there is no cure for all forms and degrees of hearing loss or tinnitus.
It is a fact that from World War II and well through the war in Vietnam, hearing damage has been a chief disability among many people. But then according to the figures by the VA, even against the many lessons learned from wars past, the Army troops are still suffering from hearing damage exactly like the veterans from the Second World War have been suffering from. But then there is no comparison to the war in Iraq and the World War II. Artillery barrages and epic tank battles which were all so vast and terrorizing plus the countless bombing raids that all transpired during World War II, it was obvious that this war was really waged to a far larger reach.
With such terrifying weaponry used today, even the best hearing shields can be only effective if administered correctly and even if this is done, it is only partially effective. A pair of $7.40 worth double sided earplugs, with one facet designed to protect from weapons fire and explosions, while the other from aircraft and tank noise were distributed to some members of the Marines. But the Marines were not given instructions in how to use the earplugs, and some cut them in half, while others used the wrong sides, making the devices virtually useless. The earplugs being distributed come with adequate instructions.
State of the art earplugs that contain digital processors that obstruct damaging sound waves from gunshots and explosions and still allow users to hear everyday noises are now being bought and distributed among the members of the Marines and the Navy. For those who would be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, it is good news that they would be given newly developed one sided earplugs that cost about $8.50, and some of these men have in fact been part of its testing.
Another good thing is that this San Diego based company is working closely with the Navy in developing something that would protect the hearing of the troops, a hearing pill. There was a study back in 2003 participated by five hundred and sixty six respondents who showed that there was about 25 to 27b percent in decrease of permanent hearing failure. We now see that American warfare finally learned to put on the front lines the hearing trained medics and specialists instead of just at field hospitals and in the past three years this has become the first time trend.
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