INDIAN Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor suffers from acute deafness in his left ear because of exposure to heavy booming sound of artillery guns during a demonstration on anti-terror operation in the US last year, reported The Times of India and Daily News and Analysis. As a result, the Indian Army Chief has been placed in a lower medical category just four months before retirement. The disability will fetch him 20 per cent extra pension after his superannuation in March, Indian Army sources said in New Delhi. Gen Kapoor realised about his hearing impairment after he underwent examination at the Army Research and Referral Hospital in November last year. The sources said the General visited the hospital after he experienced difficulty in hearing in his left ear. Medical records accessed by DNA suggest that Gen Kapoor suffers from noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss (bilat). The medical records are signed by Col WVBS Ramalingam, senior advisor in ENT and head and neck surgery at the Army Hospital in Delhi. The doctors certificate, issued on November 23 last year, says during Gen Kapoors visit to the US in July 2009, he was closely exposed to loud noise in the form of small weapons firing and gun firing during a counter-terrorism demo by US soldiers. Gen Kapoor told the doctors that he had been experiencing problems in hearing in the left ear ever since his visit to the US in July last year. He said that it could be because of exposure to booming sounds of small weapons and gunfire during a demonstration by US troops on anti-terror operations. Gen Kapoor himself had fired from a few weapons during the demonstration. Since then he (has) developed acute deafness in the left ear. He had also told the doctors that he was unable to discriminate spoken words following which he was advised to use a hearing aid in his left ear. Doctors also diagnosed that the Chief was fit for release from service in the medical categorisation 'H-2 which denotes a low medical category where he cannot continue in service. No other Army chief has ever been so categorised during their tenure, sources said. The Indian Army Chief had undergone a surgery in the left ear in 1972 at the Army Hospital for otosclerosis, an unusual growth of the bone near the middle ear which can lead to hearing loss. In 1982, he underwent surgery in the right ear at AIIMS in New Delhi. Subsequently, he was upgraded to SHAPE-1 since his hearing became WNL (within normal limits). The doctor goes on to say that Gen Kapoor being an artillery officer was exposed frequently to artillery gun firing during his long illustrious career.