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Veterans and Hearing Loss

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Veterans and Hearing Loss

by Lindsay Robinson, HIA Program Coordinator

 

On this Veteran’s Day and every day, we wish to thank and honor all of our military veterans who have  risked their lives and health in service to our country. Many of our veterans returning from training or deployment may notice a decrease in their ability to hear everyday noises and conversations like they once remembered. Noise induced hearing loss is unfortunately common in those who have been in close proximity to firearms and blasts. 1 in 3 service members return from deployment with a measurable hearing loss, and in 2018, over 1.2 million veterans received disability compensation for hearing loss. An overview of hearing health in service members can be seen in the below graphic.

 

 

A reduction in hearing health can lead to a reduction in quality of life. However, new innovations in hearing aids and cochlear implants can allow our veterans to fully engage at home and work. Services through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can provide low to no-cost hearing consultation and treatment for eligible veterans.  

 

Do you qualify?

 

First, you must be enrolled in the VA Health Benefits program. Applying can be done a few different ways, such as through the online application, over the phone at 1-877-222-VETS, or in person at your nearest VA healthcare facility or regional office.

 

Once approved for health benefits, you may schedule an appointment with a Veterans Affairs Audiologist. The hearing care professional will only be able to provide hearing aids to:

  • Those with any service-connected disability
  • Former Prisoners of War
  • Purple Heart recipients
  • Those rated permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
  • Those with hearing impairment resulting from diseases or a medical condition for which they are getting VA care or disability
  • Those who have hearing impairment severe enough that it interferes with their ability to participate actively in their own medical treatment or daily living

 

If you qualify for care and treatment through the VA, be sure to enroll in health benefits and schedule an appointment! Hearing well will keep you connected to the world and prolong good physical and cognitive health.

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