Washington,  DC. Many veterans returning from war have injuries that are not visible. They’re  dealing with hearing loss. Army veteran Rebecca Nava sometimes has trouble  hearing her daughter. “I have to be able to listen to her and hear what she has  to tell me,” said Nava.

Nava was  often exposed to loud noises during her tour in Iraq that have left her with  hearing loss and tinnitus – a ringing in her ears.  “I’m trying to sleep or take a nap or  concentrate on something and it’s all you hear is the ringing,” she said.

Lt. Col Mark  Packer of the US Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence says 60  percent of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have damaged hearing. “The total  number over the decade for the current conflicts are 840 thousand members with  tinnitus, and just over 700 thousand with hearing loss which are the number one  and two disabilities,” said Packer.

Experts say  training to prevent hearing problems needs to start as soon as a person enters  the military. But ear protection can be inconvenient in combat, and some noises  are so loud that protection won’t help.

“We have  Army, Navy,  Air Force programs that are  looking at developing the policies, identifying the best standards to best  prevent hearing loss,” said Packer.

Nava is now  studying Business Administration. She wears hearing aids, but she still  struggles. “I try to sit up close in the classroom, I try to like focus really  hard and read the professors lips as they’re talking,” she said.

She hopes  other veterans listen to her story and get help for their hearing like she did.

Source: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/05/28/the-silent-injury-war-vets-struggle-with-hearing-loss/