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VA Aims to Make Audiological Care More Accessible for Veterans

veteran with hearing loss

The sound of gunfire can reach 145dB. A active jet engine can cause immediate hearing damage with 155dB of noise, and a bomb blast can reach an excruciating decibel level of 175dB.

While many of us don’t experience these deafening sounds on a regular basis, active military personnel are among those who do, leading to a pervasive amount of hearing loss, tinnitus and other levels of hearing damage in veterans.

More than 1.9 million American veterans have a service-related hearing disability, including 414,000 post-9/11 veterans, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  

To address the pervasiveness of hearing loss among veterans, the VA is working to make it easier for veterans to get audiology appointments.

“The department announced last month – ahead of National Audiology Awareness Month – that veterans who need routine audiology appointments will be able to directly schedule them, without the need for a referral from their primary care provider. The move is expected to get veterans into appointments more quickly. The new expedited process was piloted at three VA sites last year and is now being rolled out nationwide,” according to the VA’s audiology services.

The VA is the largest employer of audiologists in the US, and premier provider for the rehabilitation of hearing loss. The VA’s National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research also conducts a wide range of studies in audiology – from biomedical investigations to large clinical trials and epidemiologic database studies.

Most recent studies have evaluated veterans with tinnitus and the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as evaluating auditory processing changes that occur inside the brain rather than the ear of veterans.

Exposing an Invisible Injury: Understanding and Preventing Hearing Loss - veteran with hearing loss

 

From Visually.

Phonak is proud to provide the most innovative hearing solutions to those men and women who have most generously served and are serving our country. U.S. military veterans are often provided with benefits that may cover the cost of hearing aids. If you know a veteran with hearing loss, contact your Department of Veterans Affairs for the quickest and most accurate way to check eligibility. 

Learn more about the choice of Phonak hearing aids and accessories for veterans. 

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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.