Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

New report finds military hearing health is improving

Image of Military doctor inspecting patient's ear. Audiologist Major Erin Artz performs a lighted ear inspection on Tech Sgt. Brittany Guynn before completing an occupational hearing screening at the hearing conservation lab at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Air Force photo by Capt. Nichole Griep)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Hearing and Balance Injuries | Hearing Center of Excellence

Hearing injury remains the most reported service-connected veteran disability, as documented by the Veterans Benefits Administration 2019 compensation report; however, noise-induced hearing loss is decreasing for active-duty service members, according to a recently released tri-service report.  

The Hearing Health Surveillance Data Review, Military Hearing Conservation – Calendar Year 2019 report reveals overall hearing health is improving for service members and civilians enrolled in hearing conservation programs.

Army Lt. Col. Martin Robinette, Army liaison for the Department of Defense (DOD) Hearing Center of Excellence, a division of the Defense Health Agency Research and Development Directorate, collaborated with the DOD Hearing Conservation Working Group to produce the report. Robinette explained how data shows hearing impaired service members fell from 18% in 2013 to 14% in 2019. Report findings also show the percentage of people entering the military with hearing loss improved from 13% in 2013 to 7% in 2019.

Reducing hearing loss is a focal point of the DOD’s policy to protect military personnel and noise-exposed civilians from hearing loss caused by occupational and operational noise exposure through a continuing, effective, and comprehensive hearing conservation program, as stated in the report. The policy also strives to reduce hazardous occupational and operational noise exposure to enhance mission readiness, communication, and safety.

“Each DOD component establishes, maintains, and evaluates the effectiveness of their hearing conservation programs,” explained Robinette, an audiologist. “There are unique differences in mission execution, service member requirements, and expected exposure to hazardous noise, so not all service members are monitored as part of a hearing conservation program.”

The report consolidated measures of effectiveness from all service components, and reviewed service level efforts to prevent hearing loss and improve hearing health of those enrolled in DOD hearing conservation programs. Report data was jointly developed by the hearing conservation working group and the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Public Health and Preventive Medicine Department, Epidemiology Consult Service Division, and the Defense Health Agency Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, Air Force Satellite at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

According to Dr. Theresa Schulz, an audiologist and the hearing center’s prevention branch chief, each of the military services has a public health organization responsible for its hearing loss prevention program. The Navy and Marine Corps public health services fall under the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, while the Army Hearing Program is under the Army Public Health Center and the Air Force Hearing Conservation Program falls under the public health branch of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency.

“Due to significant noise exposures unique to warfighters, both the Army and Marine Corps have enrolled most of their personnel in the hearing conservation program,” said Schulz. 

Another component of hearing conservation is hearing readiness, explained Schulz, which is designed to ensure service members and noise-exposed civilians have the necessary hearing capability to perform their job-specific duties, and the appropriate and properly fitted hearing protection devices for their mission.

“The ongoing challenge is that we must protect service members’ hearing from hazardous noise damage without compromising their ability to hear and communicate in often complex and chaotic environments,” said Schulz.

Those enrolled in a hearing conservation program get annual hearing tests, hearing protection fittings, and hearing conservation education sessions, according to Schulz.  “These noise reduction efforts are important indicators for hearing readiness,” she said.

Schulz emphasized that close collaboration between military operational leadership and medical leadership is also important to help reduce noise hazards and prevent noise-induced hearing loss. 

“Hearing loss can have significant adverse effects on a service members’ mission readiness and ultimately their well-being,” said Schulz. “It’s encouraging to see the decline of hearing injury as a result of each service’s dedication to their hearing conservation and hearing readiness programs. I’m hopeful this trend will continue.”  

For more information about hearing health, visit the DHA’s webpage. Additional information can be found in the 2019 Hearing Health Surveillance Data Review Military Hearing Conservation –CY2019.

You also may be interested in...

Audiology Awareness Month Hear for Life

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Hear for Life

People at every stage of life—from young to older adults—are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss can impact not only your readiness but the quality of life. National Audiology Awareness Month reminds us how important hearing is as a critical sense and explains how to protect your hearing. Regular hearing checkups are important actions you can take to ensure your hearing is healthy. For more information, visit: https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/HearingExams.aspx?sc_database=web https://hearing.health.mil #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

October | Hearing Center of Excellence

Audiology Awareness Month Healthy Ears

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Healthy Ears

#DYK? Audiologists are health care professionals who can help prevent, evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance disorders. To find an audiologist, visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Resources/Help-and-Support/Find-a-Provider #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

Hearing Center of Excellence | October

Audiology Awareness Month Ear Protection

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Ear Protection

Service members can prevent hearing loss by wearing protective gear like earplugs, noise muffs, noise-attenuating helmets and other approved devices. Check with your Hearing Conservation Program or audiologist about which protective device is best for your job and environment. For more about HPDs visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Hearing-Protection-Devices https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

Hearing Center of Excellence | October

Corpsman Care during Atlantic Ocean ops on MSC ship

Article Around MHS
8/4/2022
Military medical personnel performing emergency surgery

There’s a reason why U.S. Navy independent duty corpsmen are found assigned on isolated platforms from the wide expanse of the Indo-Pacific Theater to the far reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Wellness Fair Showcases Ample Resources at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article Around MHS
8/2/2022
Military personnel demonstrating a grip therapy

Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted a holistic Wellness Fair in late July 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Nutritional Fitness | Health Readiness Support

Soldiers Not Immune to Damage of Sun's Rays

Article Around MHS
7/28/2022
Soldiers not immune to damage of sun’s rays

Some soldiers have a greater risk for developing skin cancer than others. For July’s UV Safety Awareness month, soldiers should be aware of their risks and how to reduce their chances of skin cancer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Summer Safety

Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Stress | Mental Health is Health Care

Teddy Roosevelt, Navy Medicine, and the Birth of Physical Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/25/2022
Military personnel in exercise drill on deck of Navy ship

Today’s U.S. Navy espouses a “culture of fitness,” and “physical readiness,” but this was not always the case. In the early 1900s, many including the president himself, Theodore Roosevelt, were appalled by the lack of physical conditioning in the Navy.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness

DHA Program Supports Training Education of Future Medical Providers

Article
7/20/2022
Military personnel looking at display

The Clinical Investigations Program combines research and training to teach and develop the future clinicians of the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Health Care Technology | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Family Care Plan Sustains Unit Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Military personnel hugs family member

A Family Care Plan (FCP) is a method by which the Army ensures a Soldier’s Family is taken care of when the Soldier is absent due to military requirements.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Power Plate: Eat to Fuel Your Performance

Article Around MHS
7/19/2022
Infographic for Power Plate

Food is our secret weapon. When planned and executed well food can supply everything our bodies need to thrive, whether we’re running a marathon or taking a rest day.

Recommended Content:

Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Nutritional Fitness

Medical Airmen Crew Ambulance, Keep Mission Ready

Article Around MHS
7/18/2022
Military personnel inspect an ambulance

Airmen with the 75th Medical Group here are staying mission ready by crewing Hill AFB’s ambulance service alongside firefighters from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire and Emergency Services Flight.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Need for Speed Requires Intense Training

Article
7/18/2022
 Military personnel conducts routine ops in US 3rd Fleet

Tom Cruise has nothing on real military pilots and their training.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Physical Fitness

Dental Health Aboard USS Tripoli

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military dental personnel working on a patient

The USS Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Dental Health | Global Health Engagement

Fort Hunter Liggett First in Army to Receive Prehospital Whole Blood Transfusion Capability

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military medical personnel standing by EMS vehicle

Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett’s remoteness, and the robust efforts of Fire Captain Devon Haggie allowed the installation to be the first in the Army and Department of Defense to receive the life-saving capability to transfuse whole blood by its Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | French Freeze-Dried Plasma Use in the DOD

Audiology Awareness Month Hear for Life

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Hear for Life

People at every stage of life—from young to older adults—are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss can impact not only your readiness but the quality of life. National Audiology Awareness Month reminds us how important hearing is as a critical sense and explains how to protect your hearing. Regular hearing checkups are important actions you can take to ensure your hearing is healthy. For more information, visit: https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/HearingExams.aspx?sc_database=web https://hearing.health.mil #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

October | Hearing Center of Excellence

Audiology Awareness Month Healthy Ears

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Healthy Ears

#DYK? Audiologists are health care professionals who can help prevent, evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance disorders. To find an audiologist, visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Resources/Help-and-Support/Find-a-Provider #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

Hearing Center of Excellence | October

Audiology Awareness Month Ear Protection

Infographic
8/17/2022
Audiology Awareness Month Ear Protection

Service members can prevent hearing loss by wearing protective gear like earplugs, noise muffs, noise-attenuating helmets and other approved devices. Check with your Hearing Conservation Program or audiologist about which protective device is best for your job and environment. For more about HPDs visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Hearing-Protection-Devices https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

Recommended Content:

Hearing Center of Excellence | October

Corpsman Care during Atlantic Ocean ops on MSC ship

Article Around MHS
8/4/2022
Military medical personnel performing emergency surgery

There’s a reason why U.S. Navy independent duty corpsmen are found assigned on isolated platforms from the wide expanse of the Indo-Pacific Theater to the far reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Global Health Engagement

Wellness Fair Showcases Ample Resources at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Article Around MHS
8/2/2022
Military personnel demonstrating a grip therapy

Naval Hospital Bremerton hosted a holistic Wellness Fair in late July 2022.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | Nutritional Fitness | Health Readiness Support

Soldiers Not Immune to Damage of Sun's Rays

Article Around MHS
7/28/2022
Soldiers not immune to damage of sun’s rays

Some soldiers have a greater risk for developing skin cancer than others. For July’s UV Safety Awareness month, soldiers should be aware of their risks and how to reduce their chances of skin cancer.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Summer Safety

Mind-Body Mental Fitness

Article Around MHS
7/27/2022
Mountain view

The lifestyle of active duty service members and their families comes with unique stressors that can often be compounded by living overseas. What most people don’t realize is that stress is a normal part of life. The feelings of stress are just indicators that something in our life needs attention, and even presents a possibility for positive change and growth.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Stress | Mental Health is Health Care

Teddy Roosevelt, Navy Medicine, and the Birth of Physical Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/25/2022
Military personnel in exercise drill on deck of Navy ship

Today’s U.S. Navy espouses a “culture of fitness,” and “physical readiness,” but this was not always the case. In the early 1900s, many including the president himself, Theodore Roosevelt, were appalled by the lack of physical conditioning in the Navy.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness

DHA Program Supports Training Education of Future Medical Providers

Article
7/20/2022
Military personnel looking at display

The Clinical Investigations Program combines research and training to teach and develop the future clinicians of the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Health Care Technology | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Family Care Plan Sustains Unit Readiness

Article Around MHS
7/20/2022
Military personnel hugs family member

A Family Care Plan (FCP) is a method by which the Army ensures a Soldier’s Family is taken care of when the Soldier is absent due to military requirements.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Power Plate: Eat to Fuel Your Performance

Article Around MHS
7/19/2022
Infographic for Power Plate

Food is our secret weapon. When planned and executed well food can supply everything our bodies need to thrive, whether we’re running a marathon or taking a rest day.

Recommended Content:

Performance Nutrition: Fuel Your Body and Mind | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Nutritional Fitness

Medical Airmen Crew Ambulance, Keep Mission Ready

Article Around MHS
7/18/2022
Military personnel inspect an ambulance

Airmen with the 75th Medical Group here are staying mission ready by crewing Hill AFB’s ambulance service alongside firefighters from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Fire and Emergency Services Flight.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Need for Speed Requires Intense Training

Article
7/18/2022
 Military personnel conducts routine ops in US 3rd Fleet

Tom Cruise has nothing on real military pilots and their training.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training | Physical Fitness

Dental Health Aboard USS Tripoli

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military dental personnel working on a patient

The USS Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Dental Health | Global Health Engagement

Fort Hunter Liggett First in Army to Receive Prehospital Whole Blood Transfusion Capability

Article Around MHS
7/14/2022
Military medical personnel standing by EMS vehicle

Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett’s remoteness, and the robust efforts of Fire Captain Devon Haggie allowed the installation to be the first in the Army and Department of Defense to receive the life-saving capability to transfuse whole blood by its Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | French Freeze-Dried Plasma Use in the DOD
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 40
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 09, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.