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Posted: 2/26/2006 5:45:25 AM EDT
To what degree is hearing loss/damage a problem with those who are exposed to real combat?
We all wear hearing protection while on the range, but I'd think earmuffs in a combat zone would't be a good idea...
I know what it feels like to have a 30.06Garand go off right beside me without the benifit of muffs
I can't imagine what it's like to be amoungst an entire platoon of people shooting all at once in a combat situation...
We've all heard of claims made by soldiers for stuff like "Gulf War Syndrom"... and I assume there are VA benefits for people who are disabled in combat, but... do soldiers regularly put in disability claims for stuff like "I can't hear a goddamn thing anymore!!"
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:49:54 AM EDT
i'd like to know as well. i had a soldier who had just gotten back from iraq tell me that they fire weapons like mine(reffering to my m4gery) "all the time with no hearing protection". i decided to see how bad it was, so i took off my hearing protection and fired one shot... BOOM! holy shit! my left ear was ringing for 20 minutes afterwards. i'm willing to bet that these guys suffer from quite a bit of hearling loss if the report from a 14.5" barrell is nothing to them as i'm told.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:53:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:57:10 AM EDT
It's just that I've never heard the issue discussed anywhere.... Y'see the 60 minute reports on other ailments affecting combat troops, but never what seems to me to be the most obvious occupational hazard...

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:58:14 AM EDT
What?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:00:45 AM EDT
I never had a problem with firing the 50 with no ear-pro, although Im sure it was still doing damage. But to stand to the side of one when it was going off was a totally different story.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:08:23 AM EDT
I have a significant amount of hearing loss and tinitus. When on patrol I never wore the combat ear plugs because they interfered with me communicating on the radio, so I had to pay the price. One thing that I noticed though, which is really wierd, was that in my first fire fight, when I was shooting it didnt seem that loud. Probably has something to do with adreniline and the fight/ flight mechanism we all have. I would be curious to see if anyone else noticed this.

These are what the army is issuing in Iraq:

Combat Ear Plugs

They should issue:

Electronic Shooter Protection


But they are too "expensive" to issue to grunts.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:13:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:18:44 AM EDT
My tinitus is caused from IEDs and not small arms, the only time I no longer hear it is when there is alot of ambient noise, like at a bar. I hope to God it goes away, annoying as fuck.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:19:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 6:20:59 AM EDT by Girlieman]
There is a name for that thing where you don't notice the noise...
Can't recall.. something like "Audio-disconnect"
Under stress apparently something happens inside your ear.... that lessens the impact of loud noises..
I've heard about it from police who've either experienced it during a shooting or have known someone who has had it happen....
Sort of akin to how some will report everything going into slow motion or experiencing "tunnel vision" during a stressfull event like a fight or car wreck etc...

'Strange how the body adapts/reacts to stress...
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:23:51 AM EDT
good morning.

i spent some time in vietnam in 1969/1970. managed to get a little close to some big guns one night and became pretty deaf pretty quick. actually, i was unable to hear much for 3 or 4 days after that, but it gradually came back.

however, my ears have rung constantly since then [makes me crazy], and i have become more deaf as time has passed. now i am what they call 'profoundly deaf'. it can be corrected to some extent with hearing aids, but that is a poor substitute for being able to hear. through the years i have had some hearing aids that were better than others. the ones i have now are crap.

i still shoot a lot and operate machine tools. i also am pentecostal about wearing hearing protection myself, and even more so about my kids wearing it. my younger son apparently hears as well as i did before this happened. he wears earmuffs and plugs also when he shoots. i can remember what the birds and night insects sounded like, but it has been a lot of years since i have heard them.

it is impossible for me to carry on a conversation when there is other noise around. [like fans, music, in a bar, etc.] i am sol when i meet people. it is also becoming almost impossible to hear on a telephone. i have noticed that most people mumble more than they speak. it drives me up a wall to try to deal with places like the wal mart.

the doctors tell me that what has happened is that the little hairs inside my ear that transmit and translate vibrations into sounds are mostly dead. strangely enough, this only affects higher frequency sounds. i still hear lower frequency sounds fairly well. i am not sure whether i 'hear' them or 'feel' them.

it would be my suggestion to you that you ALWAYS wear hearing protection. being deaf ain't a lot of fun. maybe it is ok if you want to tune the old lady out, but i am single, and it looks like i am going to stay that way.

my $0.02. probably worth about what you paid for it, or a little less.

peace.
billr
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:26:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:31:22 AM EDT
I'd answer the question if I could hear it, damn ringing in my ears.

You really don't noticed it while the firng is going on. But, my driver said that when I fired the 25mm over his hatch and he had his CVC off, it got his attention. My problem comes from firing AT-4's while not wearing any earplugs. Not to bright, but really did not think about it at the time.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:38:30 AM EDT
My brother is a USMC Vietnam vet.

He started receiving a partial medical pension only about a year ago from a pretty severe hearing loss. He 'believes' most of his loss came from artillery - both out going and incoming - and not from small arms fire.



5sub
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:45:14 AM EDT
Be advised - VA considers hearing loss to be a "preventable" condition and its harder than hell to get a disability rating for hearing.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:10:21 AM EDT
I am 59 years old today! Happy Birthday to me... But back to the story, was 11H in 1st Cav 1969-70. Today I hear OK, but the ringing is present 24/7. Wish it were not, I hate it. Could be worse.

If it were 1969 again, I would be against hearing protection for two reasons. First you had no idea when firing would commence, unless it was planned (mad minute). Second, it was hard to figure what was going on without hearing protection, you would not want to handicap yourself by reducing your sense of hearing. IMO
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:14:46 AM EDT
I have used a system similar to those combat ear plugs for over 30 years. They work great. It's the hearing protection I usually use today. You can hear normal conversation fine but they cut the noise from a rifle report to a managable level. I have tinitis too. I've had it at least 30 years. Came from a job I had working right at the end of a runway. Those old 707's were real screaming machines. Loudest of all the jets at that time.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:28:13 AM EDT
The Gov is working on an anti-oxident program for protection and restoration of hearing. If I find the link to it I will post it...It seems they are paying a shit load of money out for hearing loss disabilty to veterans.

It's funny that the reason is $ related.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:35:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:36:12 AM EDT
tag

ARH
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:38:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryker_11A:
My tinitus is caused from IEDs and not small arms, the only time I no longer hear it is when there is alot of ambient noise, like at a bar. I hope to God it goes away, annoying as fuck.




I had a tank shoot about 5-6 rounds from 10 feet away from me. My hearing reallly poor now.

Shooting small arms without hearing pro never really bothered me.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:45:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Retched_Rick:
The Gov is working on an anti-oxident program for protection and restoration of hearing. If I find the link to it I will post it...It seems they are paying a shit load of money out for hearing loss disabilty to veterans.

It's funny that the reason is $ related.

it's my understanding that some progress was made with stem cell research as well. a deaf mouse supposidly regained its hearing through treatment with stem cells... but doing the same for humans would be evil, so we have to ban it


anyways, i hope progress is made. i'm only 20 years old now, but i have tinitus 24/7 from shooting w/o hearing protection when i was younger and from all the sound systems i went through in highschool(you know, the whole "look at me, my car is louder than your's!" stage). what the fuck was i thinking
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:20:15 AM EDT


"My tinitus is caused from IEDs and not small arms, the only time I no longer hear it is when there is alot of ambient noise, like at a bar. I hope to God it goes away, annoying as fuck."


I was a 12B with the 25th Inf in 69-70 RVN, ran over a mine while on a CEV, I ate the .50, knocked in my front teeth, blew both ear drums, shattered my sunglasses, was still digging dirt and sand out of my face and neck up to a few years ago. The ringing NEVER goes away, If there is a large amount of background noise I'm same as deaf.

rk
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:35:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 8:42:13 AM EDT by RockHard13F]
While at Fort Sill I had a battery of Paladins go off that I was standing next too without hearing protection during an FTX. That had my ears fucked up pretty good for a few days, and between that and my rotation, a lot of my hearing is gone. Never quite *heard* something sound as loud as those 155s again though.

-Ben

ETA: Oh yeah, and on the hearing lose thing with the VA, they told me my hearing sheets from my outprocessing is blank. WTF? I went in and got a hearing screening when I got home, and they are saying they cannot compensate me because some specialist didn't fill in the paperwork? Who wants to start an "I hate the VA!" organization?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:39:10 AM EDT
good morning some more.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Be advised - VA considers hearing loss to be a "preventable" condition and its harder than hell to get a disability rating for hearing.





yep. took forever to get them to do anything about it. ended up having to find witnesses because somehow the medical records were 'lost'. if i recall correctly, it was something like 3-4 years.




If it were 1969 again, I would be against hearing protection for two reasons. First you had no idea when firing would commence, unless it was planned (mad minute). Second, it was hard to figure what was going on without hearing protection, you would not want to handicap yourself by reducing your sense of hearing. IMO



ditto. it is a lot like being between a hard rock and a place.



It's funny that the reason is $ related.



why is that so funny? it is *all* $$$ related.

oh well. i guess i am glad i am old so i don't have to listen to it for a lot longer.

good luck to you guys that have this problem. hammer at the va and make them do what they can [or will] about it. it will make your life a lot easier in the future. the first time i talked to them, they told me that there wasn't anything they could do until i went [completely] deaf. they have a bunch of people whose job it is to say 'no'.

peace.
billr
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:41:05 AM EDT
my dad would hot swap engines on B-52s while they we sitting on the runway in a constant state of alert during the late 50's.

he can't hear too well
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:41:54 AM EDT
In some of the several books about D-Day I've read there's mention of landing craft-loads of troops on their way to the beachead passing virtually underneath or very near the Texas' 16" guns bombarding the beach, and ending up stone-deaf for life.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:42:44 AM EDT
How loud is a M1A1's 120mm from inside the tank? (Relatively speaking: Is it loud, damned loud, deafening, or all hell breaking loose?)
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:44:29 AM EDT
I went through ARS back in 94 and half of my instructors were deaf.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:45:03 AM EDT
--- Tinitus --- i take it that is ringing in your ears??

im no combat vet but ive done ALOT of shooting during hunting over 13 years and it kind of scares me that my ears dont ring after gunfire as they use to
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:47:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:56:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Plus you always have your CVC on which is great hearing protection.

+1, there's a reason those bastards cost about a grand each...

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 9:05:50 AM EDT
The tinnitis is caused by damage to the nerves and fine hairs that receive the sound. You are basically fucked because they will never really recover. Aspirin overdosages are also well know to cause tinnitis.

The armed forces are just realizing that the ears are extremely vulnerable. The new kraut style lids was a response to that to give better protection to the ears and lower head.

Electronic muffs that allow voices and normal sounds to be heard but screen out loud noises cant be far behind as standard issue.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 9:08:10 AM EDT

Is anyone using these overseas? If so, are they really the answer that they appear to be?





Peltor link.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 9:24:31 AM EDT
Just because your brain shuts out the noise, doesnt mean the physical dammage happening is not exactally the same, your brain is just saying "i'll deal with that later"

I can't speak for infantry, but I know Air Force flightline people have a bad problem with hearing loss, even tower guys. The last time I flew I wore foam plugs from INSIDE the squadron building, through the whole flight, and only took them out when i got BACK inside the squadon building. Even inside the jet with a helmet on (which has built in muffs) riding in the jet is loud!

You know on all those "loud noise" charts where sounds range from "bumblebee wings" at the bottom to "figher jet on takeoff" well, that's no shit! A jet may be the loudest thing ever!
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 9:35:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
You know on all those "loud noise" charts where sounds range from "bumblebee wings" at the bottom to "figher jet on takeoff" well, that's no shit! A jet may be the loudest thing ever!


Ever go to a Top-Fuel drag race?

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 9:48:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Is anyone using these overseas? If so, are they really the answer that they appear to be?


www.envirosafetyproducts.com/images/product/peltor/comtacii.jpg


Peltor link.



Not a soldier but I know a few...

The SOCOM guys are pretty evenly split between these, the Sordin equiv. and the Invisio product. MBITR cord sets are all the rage. Most of their M1114s all have intercom systems with Bose headsets as well. I've had the opportunity to use the Peltors (own some, actually) and Sordins and they work great. You do need batteries, though. The M1114 intercom system actually makes it a pleasure to ride around in. Unfortunately all this cool stuff has a long way to go before it trickles down to the rest of the warfighter community.

I've also been using the Aero combat earplug for 3 years now (they are at least that old). They are harder to put in and not as comfortable as a foam plug but they work very well and are cheap, cheap, cheap compared to electronic ears. Mostly I use them on hot days when I don't want to wear my Peltors. They don't work as well as electronic protection but you can converse normally and hear stuff OK. If you are shooting everyday without protection I dare say the degradation due to the combat plugs is less than that from the out and out hearing loss otherwise incurred.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 10:02:20 AM EDT
http://www.militaryaudiology.org/newsletter03/nihl-research.html

Above is a link to anti oxidant therapy for hearing loss.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 10:11:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By aa777888-2:

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:
Is anyone using these overseas? If so, are they really the answer that they appear to be?


www.envirosafetyproducts.com/images/product/peltor/comtacii.jpg


Peltor link.



Not a soldier but I know a few...

The SOCOM guys are pretty evenly split between these, the Sordin equiv. and the Invisio product. MBITR cord sets are all the rage. Most of their M1114s all have intercom systems with Bose headsets as well. I've had the opportunity to use the Peltors (own some, actually) and Sordins and they work great. You do need batteries, though. The M1114 intercom system actually makes it a pleasure to ride around in. Unfortunately all this cool stuff has a long way to go before it trickles down to the rest of the warfighter community.

I've also been using the Aero combat earplug for 3 years now (they are at least that old). They are harder to put in and not as comfortable as a foam plug but they work very well and are cheap, cheap, cheap compared to electronic ears. Mostly I use them on hot days when I don't want to wear my Peltors. They don't work as well as electronic protection but you can converse normally and hear stuff OK. If you are shooting everyday without protection I dare say the degradation due to the combat plugs is less than that from the out and out hearing loss otherwise incurred.



The intercom system in the M1114...yeah, all the headsets get rat fucked in Kuwait before you get issued the vehicle, I had 2 pairs for my platoon, so...Oh and replacements were ordered, still didnt have them 11 months later.

Bad thing about these M1114 headsets, you cant unplug from the vehicle system and plug into an MBITR. That would be great. These systems are awesome for convoy escort, but a little impractical for those that dismount. I wished I had more for all my gunners and drivers.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:11:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryker_11A:

The intercom system in the M1114...yeah, all the headsets get rat fucked in Kuwait before you get issued the vehicle, I had 2 pairs for my platoon, so...Oh and replacements were ordered, still didnt have them 11 months later.

Bad thing about these M1114 headsets, you cant unplug from the vehicle system and plug into an MBITR. That would be great. These systems are awesome for convoy escort, but a little impractical for those that dismount. I wished I had more for all my gunners and drivers.



Yeah <sigh> It's easy to make the toys. It's hard to make 'em soldier (or system) proof.

I know the govie PM for that job. I'll have to ask him why they didn't make 'em MBITR compatible. A Y-cord from a PTT box should be an easy-do: unplug from the truck and the radio takes over. At least they put the break-aways on them so the cords didn't get ripped up in case someone had to un-ass quick.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:27:08 PM EDT
My neighbor was in the USMC over in Iraq for a while. Noise didn't seem to be much of a problem for him, although I don't have nay details. I know sometime before he went, he had fired some type of shoulder fired rocket w/o his hearing protection installed properly and I think he said it made his ear bleed a little and he has some perm. loss in that ear.

I run a lawn service in the summer so I'm around plenty of constant noise, although not quite as loud as a .30 rifle, and I usually don't wear my plugs. I do have slight ringing in my ears but it is only noticeable when there is TOTAL SILENCE. Then it drives me nuts and I have to talk to myself or something to make it go away.

+1 on noise being less noticeable when you are the one making the noise. When I sometimes shoot my .40 at the range w/o plugs, it doesn't sound all that loud. But when I stand next to my dad firing it, it's a lot louder. Same thing when I run my backpack blower or big lawnmower.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:35:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryker_11A:
My tinitus is caused from IEDs and not small arms, the only time I no longer hear it is when there is alot of ambient noise, like at a bar. I hope to God it goes away, annoying as fuck.



+1 IED's and quad stacked mines on several occasions. hug.gif
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 1:51:33 PM EDT
They started doing the stacked mine shit before I left. The last one that went off was a 3x2, 3 deep and 2 on the sides. The IA were out with ODA and one of their Nissan trucks hit it. Not alot left after that. Real shitty MASCAL. I lost some good kids that night (My platoon trained and operated with the IA company).
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 2:22:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By Retched_Rick:
The Gov is working on an anti-oxident program for protection and restoration of hearing. If I find the link to it I will post it...It seems they are paying a shit load of money out for hearing loss disabilty to veterans.

It's funny that the reason is $ related.


What is funnier is that unless you got a purple heart and discharge at the same time of the hearing loss, the government doesn't pay shit.

Maybe they are doing it because they care about soldiers.



My father sent me an excerpt from the Michigan DAV newsletter (October 2005) which says that you can claim veterans disability benefits for Tinnitus (Smith v. Nicholson). 10% for each ear (dual claim). There is no mention of any award or discharge requirements.

I have some severe (rings so hard it hurts) tinnitus in both ears from 13 years in the Field Artillery, but I haven't filed a claim because it doesn't affect me in any income earning capacity.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:14:56 PM EDT
20% hearing lost here. 03 usmc
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:22:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:25:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By Retched_Rick:
The Gov is working on an anti-oxident program for protection and restoration of hearing. If I find the link to it I will post it...It seems they are paying a shit load of money out for hearing loss disabilty to veterans.

It's funny that the reason is $ related.


What is funnier is that unless you got a purple heart and discharge at the same time of the hearing loss, the government doesn't pay shit.

Maybe they are doing it because they care about soldiers.



My father sent me an excerpt from the Michigan DAV newsletter (October 2005) which says that you can claim veterans disability benefits for Tinnitus (Smith v. Nicholson). 10% for each ear (dual claim). There is no mention of any award or discharge requirements.

I have some severe (rings so hard it hurts) tinnitus in both ears from 13 years in the Field Artillery, but I haven't filed a claim because it doesn't affect me in any income earning capacity.


No shit.
At least they are doing something right.



Yep.
When I ETS'd from active duty in 1992, my physician told me that tinnitus and hearling loss were not covered because "adequate safety equipment" was provided.
My old man is still in my shit to file a claim.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:26:16 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:39:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:

Originally Posted By Retched_Rick:
The Gov is working on an anti-oxident program for protection and restoration of hearing. If I find the link to it I will post it...It seems they are paying a shit load of money out for hearing loss disabilty to veterans.

It's funny that the reason is $ related.


What is funnier is that unless you got a purple heart and discharge at the same time of the hearing loss, the government doesn't pay shit.

Maybe they are doing it because they care about soldiers.



My father sent me an excerpt from the Michigan DAV newsletter (October 2005) which says that you can claim veterans disability benefits for Tinnitus (Smith v. Nicholson). 10% for each ear (dual claim). There is no mention of any award or discharge requirements.

I have some severe (rings so hard it hurts) tinnitus in both ears from 13 years in the Field Artillery, but I haven't filed a claim because it doesn't affect me in any income earning capacity.



No shit.
At least they are doing something right.



Sigh. In after the VA bashing. The 10% per each ear for tinnitus is still under dispute. It's fairly easy to get SC for tinnitus, as there is no way they can prove you DON"T have it. If it's in your SMR's or mentioned at your exit physical it's usualy a lock. Why would turn down 100 bucks a month and care for your tinnitus and/or hearing loss? Hearing aids if you need them at the very least. If your tinnitus that bad, why would you not claim it as SC? The VA is heavy into studying tinnitus and hearing loss. There are some things you can do to try to lesson the symptoms.

"What is funnier is that unless you got a purple heart and discharge at the same time of the hearing loss, the government doesn't pay shit."

Your full of that same shit. It's simple, really. If you have a medical conition that was aggravated by or caused by military service, you can usually get comp for it. Some stuff rates a 0%, but it's still service connected.

The VA is a nightmare of rules and regulations brought to you by your government. If you try to navigate that shit without the help of someone who knows the system, it's easy to get dropped.
I guess I one of the few grateful an happy VA customers.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 4:23:32 PM EDT
As a permanent reminder of service with the USMC, I was too 'close' to a mortar round impact - the heat and overpressure blew out my ear drum and the ossicles (small bones) of my right ear. Small shrapnel was imbedded behind my right ear and neck, I also suffered internal blast injuries. I have had 12 surgeries in the past 14 years on my head, and will most likely have another half dozen over the next 12 years. I have a very high disability rating from the VA. I am 100% deaf in the right ear, and 60% in the left, I have a very poor sense of balance, I fall down a lot hronic
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 9:16:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 9:20:36 AM EDT by Unicorn]
It's bad enough that if they bothered to fill out the paperwork and submit them, the VA will almost automatically give a vet a 10% disability rating for tinitus caused by noise, of any vet that served in a combat theater.

At least that's the impression I got from the VA reps that talked to us when we came back. I also know a few people that were rated with the 10%. It's a lot harder to prove or disprove tinitus than regular hearing loss though.
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