Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Are The Most Common Veteran Disability
Exposure to loud noise from explosions, gunfire, aircraft, and heavy machinery left many Vietnam War vets with permanent ear damage and hearing loss. One study found that 60 percent of service personnel exposed to explosions suffered some degree of hearing loss. Tinnitus. a condition that causes continuous ringing or buzzing in the ears, is the most common disability among all veterans. The condition, which is sometimes called a thief of silence, is caused by head injuries and noise damage. Tinnitus is closely linked to hearing loss as well as mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The disease may not emerge until years after the initial injury. Although many people live normal lives with tinnitus, the condition can cause difficulty sleeping, concentrating, and processing language. Tinnitus has no cure, but noise suppression devices and behavioral therapy can help patients manage their symptoms.