How Do Soldiers Not Go Deaf?

If you are thinking about joining the military and becoming a soldier, there are many questions that you will likely have. One question many new potential soldiers have is regarding their hearing. With all of the loud gunfire, how do soldiers not go deaf? Do the majority of soldiers wear ear protection while they are fighting on the battlefield? We have the answers to these questions and all of the details that you need to know! 

Most soldiers may not go completely deaf immediately when exposed to gunfire, but many soldiers do experience hearing loss and hearing concerns throughout their life. The majority of soldiers will experience more difficulties with hearing after they’ve spent time in combat than they did before they were a soldier. Many soldiers also do not wear ear protection while in battle due to safety concerns. 


Common Hearing Concerns for Soldiers 

How Do Soldiers Not Go Deaf?

Although soldiers do not usually go completely deaf while fighting in the war, most soldiers will experience hearing loss during their time while serving our country. Hearing loss can both happen temporarily right away, and it can turn out to be more permanent down the road. Before you become a soldier, you should know what to expect when it comes to your hearing and the risks you are taking. 

Many soldiers do actually temporarily experience hearing concerns when they are near loud gunfire. They may not lose all of their hearing, but their hearing can be turned down for a short while. Everything would sound much quieter like you had turned the volume down. Some soldiers also hear ringing through their ear after a loud explosion has gone off. The ringing can go away after a little while or it can even last long term. This all depends on how bad your ear was affected during the explosion. 

The ringing that some soldiers hear actually has a purpose. The ringing in the ear trying to protect itself from any potential damaging noise. When it does this, your ear releases a chemical that is meant to block any noise that may be at a harmful level. This process is called tinnitus. One thing that you want to keep in mind is that tinnitus may be only temporary in one certain situation, but it can turn out to be permanent after continuous exposure to loud noise. 

Even if a soldier’s hearing was not affected or did not change right away, soldiers do often still experience loss of hearing during their time in the military. A large number of soldiers have admitted that their hearing after serving in the military is not nearly as clear as it was before they joined the military. When you are exposed to extremely loud noise for a length of time, your hearing is bound to eventually be affected by it. 

After spending any long length of time in the military and around consistent gunfire as a soldier, there are very few ways to prevent loss of hearing. Ear protection can not be worn at all times, so all soldiers are exposed to a regular amount of harmful noise levels. As a potential soldier, it is important to keep this in mind. 

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Reasons Why Many Soldiers Don’t Wear Ear Protection 

How Do Soldiers Not Go Deaf?

Some would assume that soldiers wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones during combat to protect their hearing. However, this assumption is wrong. Most soldiers do not wear ear protection during combat, and they have very valid reasons for not wearing them. A long time ago, using any sort of ear protection in the military was actually unheard of! Although ear protection is worn at times in the military, it is still not extremely common. 

When you are on the battlefield, you need to be able to hear other soldiers around you and hear your surroundings. By being able to hear what is going on around you, you are more aware of your environment. If you are wearing earplugs or any type of ear protection, you will not be able to hear a large amount of noise around you.  

You will also have a hard time hearing anything other soldiers may be trying to tell you. When you are fighting in combat or involved in a specific mission, others around you will likely be yelling commands or instructions. It is vital for you to be able to hear what is going on during the mission. If you are wearing noise-canceling ear protection, you wouldn’t be able to hear these instructions.  

Wearing ear protection while serving in the military would mean that you would constantly have to yell what you were saying to soldiers or you would constantly have to be removing your ear protection to help you hear others around you. Plus, you could even be put in danger when you have your ear protection on (since you wouldn’t be able to hear if someone was sneaking up behind you). These are all reasons that many soldiers don’t use ear protection while they are fighting in combat. 

Instead of wearing ear protection, some soldiers may even use their fingers to plug their ears when they know that a loud explosion is going to go off. For example: If you know your team is about to shoot off gunfire, then you could plug your ears as a way to lessen the noise that your ears are exposed to. 

Although many soldiers may not wear ear protection while fighting on the battlefield, many soldiers do actually wear ear protection while they are practicing at a gun range. When they are practicing at a gun range, soldiers are not constantly being put in danger like they are when they are actively fighting a war. Therefore, they are likely still safe, even if they can’t hear their surroundings with their ear protection on. 

Using ear protection while practicing at the gun range allows soldiers to lessen the number of harmful noise levels that they are exposed to. You need to keep in mind that hearing and potential loss of hearing is cumulative. This means that the more harmful noise levels you are exposed to make it more likely that you will experience hearing loss. It is a great choice to reduce the number of harmful noise levels you experience as much as possible. 

How Do Soldiers Not Go Deaf?

Soldiers may not go deaf immediately when they are fighting in combat, but the majority of soldiers will experience loss of hearing or have hearing difficulties during their lifetime. Right after you are exposed to a loud explosion, your hearing goes silent and it feels like the volume has been turned down. This can last for a few hours. Since being a soldier includes exposure to large amounts of harmful noise levels, your hearing capabilities are bound to decrease with your time served in the military.  


Related Questions 

What are the requirements to become a soldier? 

The requirements to become a soldier and join the military are relatively simple. There is not as much experience or education required as you may expect. First, you must be a minimum of 18 years old and a US citizen to join the US military. 

It is also recommended that you don’t have any more than two dependents when you originally join the military. There are also various medical exams that you must pass. You may also have to take physical tests. The medical exams are put into place to make sure that you are healthy enough to fight for our country and won’t potentially put other soldiers in danger. 

 What time commitment do I have to make to become a soldier? 

The amount of time that you must commit to join the military and become a soldier will depend on the branch of the military and the specific department that you will be joining. However, you do need to keep in mind that joining any branch of the military is a very large commitment and should not be taken lightly. 

For the most part, soldiers must commit to serve at least four years in the military as an active member. You may also need to commit at least two years of inactive service as well. Once your specific time commitment has been completed, you will then likely commit to another length of time as a member of the military if you wish to continue your career in the military. 

 What career options are available in the military? 

There are likely far more career options available in the military than you may expect! Many of us mostly think of serving as a soldier when it comes to being in the military. However, many other career options may be available to you.  

The military needs a large variety of professionals like pilots, nurses, mechanics, flight support, military police, engineers, administration professionals,    and more. There is a large number of tasks and jobs that are essential to keeping our military running properly. Every position in the military makes a difference for our country! 

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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.