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As More and More Soldiers and Marines Caught in Roadside Bombings

BY: Richard Horton | Category: Health | Submitted: 2010-08-26 21:50:43
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Article Summary: "Soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears, prompting the military to redouble its efforts to protect the troops from noise. Experts state that hearing damage is the first disability in the war o.."


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As more and more soldiers and Marines caught in roadside bombings and firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back home in epidemic numbers with undeviating hearing loss and buzzing in their ears, pushing the military to augment its efforts to shield the troops from these awful noises. It was exposed recently by the experts that the true toll could take decades to become defined when it comes to hearing damage being the first on the disabilities as a result of war on terrorism especially stated by the Department of Veterans Affair today. Among the over 1.3 million troops sent in the two war zones, about seventy thousand of them suffer from a potentially incapacitating ringing in the ears called tinnitus while 58,000 are on disability for loss of their hearing ability. This finding is indeed shocking. One of the biggest reasons given is the insurgency's use of a frightening weapon the Pentagon did not fully anticipate, which is bombs on the roadside that are very powerful. Such explosions would rupture the eardrum of any person and break bones in there too, as the air pressure changes can do these.

A lot of these soldiers, unfortunately, are not given the time or the chance to put on the military issued ear protection gears as most fights come out of the blue especially with ambushes, bombings and firefights. I need to put my ear plugs first, can you wait is something that the soldiers there cannot say. Also, some of the servicemen especially when doing their rounds would refuse to wear earplugs as these could dull their senses and make them miss sounds that can make the difference between life and death especially in their crucial mission. It was unfortunate how some had just forgotten to take their earplugs along before heading to the warzone while the others simply did not get any ear protection for their hearing.

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. Furthermore, he was able to give some details to how it might have been so funny that when the bomb went off, all he could remember that the ringing in his ears was quite intense when he did not even feel that his leg was already gone. His recalls how his poor leg got blown off right under the knee in the year 2003. Even if today, he already has a leg, which was replaced with a prosthetic, the ringing in his ears still remains.

US personnel who have been exposed to blasts, according to the military audiology reports would have sixty percent of them unable to hear permanently whereas 49 percent also suffer from tinnitus. From total deafness or a steady loud ringing that destroys the ability to concentrate in an individual, down to a mild form of damage, such as an inability to hear whispers or low pitches is basically the extent of the hearing loss. Tinnitus or hearing loss has no known cure.

Hearing disability has been plaguing people since the time of the Second World War down to the time of the war in Vietnam. However, it is a fact, according to the figures released by the VA, that despite everything that has been learned over the years, the Army troops are suffering hearing damage at about the rate as veterans from World War II. But one must not compare World War II with the war in Iraq as these are entirely different. Vast artillery barrages, bombing raids and epic tank battles conducted during World War II proved that it was a different kind of war and was waged to a far greater extent.

Looking at the terrifying military hardware utilized today, even the greatest hearing protection devices are only partly effective, and only if it's utilized in the right mode, too. Pairs of double sided earplugs amounting to $7.40 were issued to some lucky members of the Marines and it has one side designed to save from harm that weapon, fire and explosions can give while the other protects the ears from noises created by aircrafts and tanks. 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. But then earplugs these days have to go together with its manual.

People under both the Navy and the Marines receive modern ear plugs, which contain digital processors that block out disparaging sound waves from gunshots and explosions and still allow users to hear daily noises and injurious sounds and this is just a superb idea. It is great how the Army also has equipped every soldier being sent to Afghanistan and Iraq with freshly developed one sided earplugs that cost about $8.50, and such are already being used and tested among some members of the Army.

Furthermore, there is this firm the Navy is working with, the one based in San Diego which is trying to develop a hearing pill that would protect the troops' hearing. 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. And now for the very first time, the war fare of the United States of America has placed the hearing specialists or hearing trained medics on the front lines instead of just at field hospitals which are what they should have already done before.

About Author / Additional Info:
http://www.nhc.com.au/BookaFreeHearingTest.aspx

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