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Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031
Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031

Hearing Loss Is The Number One Service-Related Disability Among US Veterans

Hearing Loss Is The Number One Service-Related Disability Among US Veterans
Not all combat wounds are visible to the naked eye. Similarly, not all combat wounds show up right away but become apparent over an extended period. This doesn’t make them any less important to treat as soon as they become apparent.

The most common injury veterans encounter is hearing loss and tinnitus, which is a permanent ringing in the ears. Luckily, when dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, there are multiple options at your disposal to help improve your hearing ability, such as hearing aids.

Why Hearing Loss Affects US Veterans

Most veterans will deal with some sort of hearing issue throughout their lifetime. This is because while in the line of duty, these men and women were regularly exposed to excessively loud noises from sources like aircraft, gunfire, or explosions. Hearing loss is a side effect of repeated exposure to these loud sounds.

Each veteran’s level of hearing loss will vary depending on their specific experience in active duty. The first type of hearing loss, known as conductive hearing loss, is caused by damage to the eardrum and middle ear structures. In some scenarios, medication or surgery can help them reverse some of the damage.

The second type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the inner ear and auditory nerve. In many of these situations, the internal damage is so extreme that it results in permanent hearing loss. When this happens, hearing aids are a solution that can help veterans improve their hearing abilities, making it much easier for them to communicate in varying environments.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) assists veterans dealing with hearing loss by offering free (or low-cost) hearing health care through VA Health Benefits. This means veterans can receive hearing aids at low or no cost. Additionally, the VA office monthly tax-free payments through VA Disability Compensation.

If you’re a veteran dealing with hearing problems as a result of your time in active duty, fill out an application to qualify for VA Health Benefits to get started with receiving hearing aids. The audiology doctors at Hearing & Balance Doctors can perform a diagnostic hearing evaluation and provide you with a solution that is best for you.

Signs of Hearing Loss for Vets

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, while hearing aids can help in most hearing loss cases, only about one in five who would benefit from them use hearing aids. It’s recommended that veterans regularly have their hearing checked to find hearing problems in the earliest stages. In doing so, precautions can be proactively put in place to prevent their hearing from depleting further, or they can receive hearing aids to make hearing and communicating easier.

If you have a family member or friend that is a veteran, keep an eye out for these signs of hearing loss that can be improved through hearing aids:

  • Difficulty distinguishing sounds or understanding speech (especially in noisy environments)
  • Frequently asking those their speaking with to speak louder or more clearly
  • Trouble hearing specific sounds or consonants
  • Muffling or slurring of their speech when speaking
  • Constantly turning up the radio, television, or speakers to hear it more clearly

If any of your loved ones have started showing any of these signs, the doctors of audiology at Hearing & Balance Doctors can help determine the right course of action.

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