Oklahoma City, OK -- 10/22/11
Army veteran Gerald Williams lost his hearing due to blast exposure during his military service. Just like tons of thousands facing the same risks today.
"We talked about the IEDs and that's just something they're experiencing consistently in the wars that are on-going right now," he said.
Those blasts cause permanent hearing loss. But scientists at the Hough Ear Institute aim to make that loss a thing of the past for veterans.
"The records we have right now on returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, depending on the report, it's anywhere from 38 to somewhere in the 70 percent of the military personnel have significant hearing loss as a result of exposure to blast over pressures." Dr. Don Ewert says the antioxidant medicine his team developed works. The challenge now is making it more practical for the battle field.
Ultimately it would mean that a soldier could carry a pill with them and administer it themselves whenever they needed it. For Williams, this advancement is crucial.
"Soldiers going in to a war, into the battle arena need to know that if something does happen to them that their country is going to stand behind them and help them through it," he said.