Hearing loss and tinnitus are the most common service-related medical issues for military veterans.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 2.7 million veterans receive disability benefits for hearing loss or tinnitus. It is estimated that the VA buys one in five hearing aids in the United States.
Noise exposure from gunfire, aircrafts, explosions and heavy machinery can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Although hearing loss is often seen as an inconvenience, it can have very serious long term impacts on physical and mental health issues.
Untreated hearing loss has been associated with heart disease, risk of falling, isolation, depression, cognitive decline and dementia. Tinnitus can make it hard to sleep, concentrate and stay engaged in social settings due to the constant buzzing, ringing and sometimes debilitating noise.
Understanding the risks associated with hearing loss and protecting your hearing can help you better manage not only your hearing health, but your quality of life now and in your later years.
We’ve collected a list of resources to help you learn more about what you can do to help prevent and manage hearing loss.
1. Heroes With Hearing Loss
The silence after service can be deafening. Heroes With Hearing Loss® is about reconnecting veterans with the people who are most important in their lives, including their families, friends, colleagues, communities and healthcare professionals. We accomplish this by providing lifestyle-focused solutions and information that minimize the impact of hearing loss.
2. Hearing Loss Association of America
The mission of HLAA is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. Our primary purpose is to educate ourselves, our families, friends, coworkers, teachers, hearing health care providers, industry, government, and others about hearing loss. HLAA provides adults and children with tools for self help; sensitizes the general population about the special needs of people who have hearing loss; and promotes understanding of the nature, causes, complications, and remedies of hearing loss. Learn more about veterans with hearing loss here.
3. Hearing Life
If you are a veteran, we thank you for your service and offer information on veterans and hearing loss. If you are among the millions of family members who care for veterans, we invite you to come for a complimentary hearing assessment to see if you have hearing loss.
4. The Hearing Review
The Hearing Review is the leading monthly trade magazine for the hearing healthcare industry, providing concise, timely, and accurate information to 21,000 audiologists, hearing instrument specialists, medical professionals, and others allied to the field. The magazine focuses on the practical aspects of hearing instrument testing and fitting, new technology, marketing, education, patient counseling, industry events, and trends in hearing healthcare. It is designed with the busy hearing care professional in mind, with a commitment to balanced and fair multidisciplinary editorial coverage.You can download their special report on veterans with hearing loss in the link provided.
5. Veterans Affairs
VA medical clinics provide a full range of hearing services. These can include diagnostic testing and counseling, to hearing aids and implantable devices. A referral from your primary care doctor is no longer required to see a VA audiologist. Get started by registering at your local VA hospital or health center. You can also apply through the VA’s e-benefits site here.
AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.