Stun grenades cause permanent hearing loss: Doctors’ group

Srinagar: With stun grenades being used to quell protests in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) led by Dr Nisar ul Hassan today revealed that these devices have the potential to deafen people permanently.

President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that stun grenades can cause permanent loss of hearing.

“Stun grenades originally developed as military weapons are used as crowd control agents in Kashmir. They create a loud explosion and produce an intensely loud sound of greater than 170 decibels,” Dr. Nisar said.

“Sounds greater than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. The sudden and powerful sound of this device can rupture the ear drum and damage the cochlea (auditory portion of the inner ear) and can leave a person permanently deaf,” he added.

He said, “with one loud blast, huge number of hair-cell and auditory-nerve-cell are lost resulting in hearing loss and ringing in the ears. Both ears are usually affected by the exposure to the blast and the treatment is unrewarding. This leaves the victim disabled for life and the deafness cuts him off from people. Despite being classed as non-lethal, the potential for serious injury and even death when exposed to this device is high.”

He said that numerous cases of deaths and injuries have been cited in recent years.

“A propublica report, in 2015 documented more than 50 cases of severe injury and death from the use of these devices,” he added.

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