Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Recovering from Eye Injury after Military Service

Current military conflicts are exposing more and more veterans to a specific threat that many may not think of immediately: sand blast. With so many conflicts in desert regions requiring not only combat, but long-term exposure for personnel not accustomed to or prepared for the unique storms and other weather conditions in the Middle East and some parts of Asia, vision care for returning veterans can be difficult to get. If you're having trouble with getting assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs or would simply like another opinion for eye surgery options, consider a few fact-finding angles that may help you make a more informed decision.

Why Is Sand Such A Big Deal?

Humans evolve in strange ways, but some features seem to make sense. There is a theory that the epicanthic fold is responsible for protecting the eyes more easily against sun glare and regular occasions of sandy winds. It is a feature found in many genetic groups exposed to the desert such as Asian groups, Middle Eastern groups, and regions of Africa such as the Sahara.

Many service-members not from such groups may have larger, more widely-exposed eyes that take longer to close and may expose the eyes to more sand over a long period of time. This evolutionary trait is not the only factor; people who do not live in a specific climate may not be able to react to its dangers on a subconscious level in the same way that a desert native would.

There is ongoing research involving dangers such as battlefield scarring from debris, sandy conditions, and other duty zone hazards. While studies are being confirmed, you could find yourself a way into a support program if your eyes are indeed damaged. 

Linking Eye Damage To Compensation And Surgery

Sand damage is only one of many ways that a veteran's eyesight can be affected, but it is a concern worth raising as new veterans enter the medical care system en mass. If you have eyesight problems, testing for vision failure is relatively simple. The hard part is linking the damage to your military service in order to receive compensation.

In order to receive compensation, you must prove that your injury is a result of military service or events that happened during military service. Such linked injuries and causes are considered service-connected disabilities as opposed to injuries that happened outside of military service, which may not yield compensation from Veterans Affairs (VA).

Using the sand example, you could claim that your exposure to sand storms and high winds with sands damaged your eyes. Surface abrasions and deeper scars could be the cause of your vision problems and may lead to infection if not treated properly.

Contact an ophthalmologist like California Eye Specialists Medical Group Inc. for surgery options as well as assistance with presenting your condition to the VA with medical facts to support your compensation claim.