Studies have revealed that Veterans exposed to jet fuel, commonly known as JP-8, and noise are at risk of developing hearing problems. The noise exposure does not have to be at hazardous levels in order for these problems to develop. Exposure to even safe levels of noises as defined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, if combined with jet fuel exposure, can result in the development of auditory processing dysfunctions. This is a neurological condition rather than the traditional hearing damage resulting from exposure to hazardous noise levels that we are familiar with.
This means that a Veteran will still be able to hear sounds or speech, but their brain has difficulty processing those sounds correctly. The Veteran may end up thinking they heard a different word than the one spoken or heard random noises as well as experiencing other auditory issues and sound distortion. The most frustrating thing about this is that auditory processing dysfunctions does not impact hearing thresholds, meaning that a Veteran can have an auditory processing dysfunction but still pass a hearing exam. It also means that a Veteran can have hazardous noise induced hearing damage and an auditory processing dysfunction.