Veterans’ duty for their country is an endless cycle of giving. Through each of their efforts, everyday civilians can sleep soundly at night without having to worry about their safety. The conditions these veterans encounter are far from comfortable, and they are constantly required to put their lives at risk. However, the journey doesn’t end once these veterans step off the battlefield. Instead, some health risks may haunt these individuals for the rest of their lives. Veterans are at an increased risk of various mental and physical health issues owing to the nature of their occupation. Apart from being more prone to injuries, veterans may face continued health concerns even years down the line. If you want to learn more about the health concerns veterans face, keep reading. 

Cancer 

Unfortunately, one of the most common health issues that veterans face is cancer. Veterans are often exposed to a host of toxic chemicals and substances, leading to an increased incidence of cancer. Furthermore, they also encounter stressful situations that can speed up their body’s oxidative stress, leading to cancer development. 

One of the most common forms of cancer that veterans face is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an incredibly rare yet dangerous form of cancer that can only develop through asbestos exposure. Although the use of asbestos is prohibited in most civilian areas, veterans can get exposed due to armored vehicles, construction materials, insulation and more. Asbestos exposure isn’t instantly toxic. Rather, it can fester undetected and manifest itself as mesothelioma years later. If you or a veteran you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is essential to know your veteran support options. Without proper support, you can struggle with the financial and medical repercussions of the diagnosis. Heading to a trusted source can make you aware of suitable alternatives, so you get the best chances at recovery. 

Post-traumatic stress 

Inarguably one of the most significant issues that veterans face is post-traumatic stress. Veterans encounter a range of incredibly traumatic events which can leave long-lasting scars. Each day can bring a new danger, and veterans find themselves face to face with explosives, militants, dangerous weather conditions, uncertain terrain, and more. Although they undergo a great deal of training to help them cope with such situations, it can still be incredibly challenging to make it through without any harm to their mental wellbeing. 

Unfortunately, post-traumatic stress in veterans often goes unnoticed, even though one in ten veterans is prone to suffering from this mental health disorder. PTSD is an incredibly dangerous disease that can come with long-lasting implications. At its worst, it can cause hallucinations, violent behavior, suicidal tendencies and more. However, if identified early, recovery is possible. All veterans need to seek mental health services and prevent PTSD regardless of how they may presently feel. 

Hearing loss 

Veterans have spent a tremendous amount of time in incredibly challenging situations that the human body is physically unprepared to bear. Veterans have spent a lot of time around gunfire, explosions, aircraft, engine rooms and unbearably loud machinery. Hearing loss is thus a vital health problem that veterans face, and often it has no treatment. 

Hearing loss can be as mild as hearing faint buzzing and can exceed to experiencing persistent ringing, muffled sounds, and sometimes even deafness in one or both ears. Tinnitus is the medical name for hearing impairments, and in some cases, it can have no physiological basis. Tinnitus can often indicate mental health issues, and if you experience persistent ringing, hissing and buzzing in your ears, alongside mood-related issues, heading to a health practitioner is the best option. 

Brain injuries 

Again, given the challenging environment veterans find themselves in, they can be at a greater risk of developing brain injuries. It can be when they come under attack by the enemy or face terrain-related risks. Traumatic brain injuries can come about due to injury to the torso or directly to the head. Furthermore, brain injuries can also exacerbate and cause spinal issues. 

There are several changes that veterans can experience due to brain injuries. These can include drowsiness, fatigue, mind fog, challenges in focusing, memory issues, mood changes, and even personality changes. If the issue isn’t that severe, timely intervention can help treat it. However, for the most part, traumatic brain injuries can have somewhat of a lasting effect and need to be managed consistently to maintain a good quality of life. 

Limited mobility 

Another common health issue that veterans face is limited mobility. Veterans often encounter fractures and bone breakages, muscle injuries and other issues while they’re deployed. Although these injuries can heal, they can impair movement. 

In extreme cases, veterans can find themselves rendered immobile due to permanent limb damage. Veterans can be extra prone to developing issues in their ankles and knees and can thus need extra support to help them navigate. However, for those suffering from more extreme damage, prosthetic limbs can be the only choice. 

Conclusion 

The sacrifice that veterans make for the nation can never be repaid. Many imagine that once veterans retire, their tough days are over. However, veterans encounter various health issues even after stepping off the battlefield. Veterans can overcome these psychological and physical health issues with the proper support and guidance to lead a fulfilling life.

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