Veterans Benefit from Audiology Services

Most Americans know someone or have heard a story of a veteran who was wounded fighting overseas. Many of the more visible injuries such as lost limbs, traumatic brain injury or shrapnel wounds are thought the be the most common physical impairments but in fact experts say that hearing loss is the most prevalent condition among our returning veterans. Hearing loss, like PTSD, affects our soldiers emotionally and physically. Noise-induced hearing loss, temporary or permanent, can come from loud blasts and explosions or repeated loud noises. Once thought to be a hopeless condition now has been treated, or at least dealt with, with better technology. From aural rehabilitation to hearing aids, our audiologists are ready to provide some hope for our veterans who are suffering from hearing impairments.

According to Stanford University, “The increasingly common use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, around the world provided the impetus for the new study, which was primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Among veterans with service-connected disabilities, tinnitus — a constant ringing in the ears — is the most prevalent condition. Hearing loss is the second-most-prevalent condition. But the results of the study would prove true for anyone who is exposed to loud blasts from other sources, such as jet engines, car air bags or gunfire.” In an interview from NBC News, one soldier described his condition as “the ringing in your ears you have after a concert, but for your entire life.” He doubts that many soldiers even think about getting their hearing checked when they return home, but suggests that they visit an audiologist to consider their options and see if their hearing could be improved.

The good news is that long-term hearing loss from loud explosions, such as blasts from roadside bombs, may not be as irreversible as previously thought, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. We have options for reducing hearing loss damage or preventing it from worsening. Our audiologists can work with patients to find ways to cope with the hearing loss during aural rehabilitation which is a beneficial course of treatment in learning new and better communication skills. If you or a veteran you know suffers from hearing loss, we encourage you to visit our audiologists to find which course of action is right for you and get a little piece of your life back.

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