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One of the dangers for soldiers who are deployed is hearing loss. The military takes precautions by issuing earplugs and other devices to help prevent or reduce the risk. However, service personnel who were in the military between 2002 and 2016 were issued defective earplugs, which resulted in damage to hearing for many. Anyone who has suffered from this problem needs to seek out a military ear plugs tinnitus attorney for help.
Combat Arms Earplugs and What They Do
The military unknowingly issued defective earplugs with the Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) to soldiers who were involved in combat. The earplugs were designed to protect the hearing of military personnel who were near explosions and other loud noises. However, the design did not do its job.
These CAEv2 earplugs have a two-way design. On the green side, they work just like any other earplug to block most noises. The yellow side works to protect the ear from a different kind of damage, impulse noise from explosions. It was the yellow side which malfunctioned and did not provide a secure seal to keep out those impulsive noises.
What Happens When CAEv2 Fails
When noise damages hearing in most normal circumstances, hearing loss or tinnitus results. When damage occurs from impulsive noises, it can lead to auditory processing disorder. You can still hear the same sounds as before, but you cannot process what they are. This condition impacts the way the brain works with the ears.
The person cannot determine what the sounds are or may not be able to understand the sounds they are hearing. It is most obvious in conversation. The person may have difficulty following conversations if others are talking. They may find it hard to do other tasks while trying to listen to someone.
The impact for the person affected is often far-reaching. It can keep them from finding a job because they may have difficulty following instructions. They may find it harder to listen out in public or talk on the phone. Distractions and background noise complicate everything for the person. It can lead to frustration, anxiety, and depression over the situation.
What You Can Do
If you or a loved one served in the military during the time period that 3M was supplying the defective earplugs, you might be suffering from hearing damage. You can talk to your doctor, but it is also helpful to meet with an attorney who can help you get compensation for your damages. You may be eligible for compensation for medical costs or lost wages. You could receive damages for pain and suffering as well.
You may not even realize that any difficulties you have with processing information may come from a disorder. However, you can be tested to determine if you have the condition and if it is a result of your time in the military. Contact an attorney today to get legal advice on your next steps if you have or think you have hearing loss from your military service.