Just for a moment imagine an endless buzzing, roaring, ringing, screeching, hissing, humming, pulsing or whooshing sound inside your head that blocks out external sound and makes it nearly impossible to concentrate or even think straight. That’s tinnitus.
Often caused by hearing loss brought about by loud noises (like firearms or explosives), tinnitus is the most common disability related to military service and is tragically a potential link to increased suicide rates among U.S. veterans.
And now COVID-19 is making things worse
And not just for our veterans.Today, more and more people – both in and out of the military – are tormented by this condition due to COVID-19. A recent study shows that 40% of those who contracted COVID experienced a worsening of their tinnitus symptoms. What’s more, COVID can actually trigger tinnitus in those who never had it before.
Tinnitus can negatively affect virtually everything in a person’s life including disruptions in sleep cycles, frequent mood swings, communication issues, feelings of isolation, problems concentrating, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, depression or suicidal thoughts or actions.
They sold our military… what?
Veterans have recently mounted a mass tort against 3M, manufacturers of a defective earplug they sold to our military that was supposed to protect their ears from hearing damage and didn’t. As a result many of our brave service members are now suffering needlessly, quite possibly for the rest of their lives. Tinnitus is especially traumatic for PTSD sufferers because noise in their heads can remind them of active combat sounds.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are management strategies. If you or a loved one is suffering from tinnitus, talk it over with your healthcare team as quickly as possible. Treatment in early stages may lead to a better outcome.
Wanna fight back? 3M may have put our soldiers at risk. Contact us now if you or someone you know suffered from hearing loss after serving in the military. We’re here to help you learn your options in fighting back.