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Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Hearing and vision are critical senses.  Service members must be able to see, hear, and communicate in order to achieve their mission safely and effectively, engage with their families, and connect with their communities.

Military personnel are routinely exposed to sensory hazards in combat, training, and by exposure to potentially hazardous conditions on and off duty. Hearing and vision injuries are detrimental to force readiness, attrition, retention, and replacement. Degraded hearing or vision can impact your mission fitness, and service members should treat their eye and ear health like any other physical tool they develop and protect.

We're committed to protecting the vision and hearing health of our service members and veterans, giving them the best opportunity to maintain fitness for duty and the quality of life they deserve!

Protect Your Hearing

It's a noisy world and protecting your hearing is essential, not only for your life in the military but for your relationships in your personal life as well. Check out these links from the DOD's Hearing Center of Excellence to understand hearing loss and how you can prevent it:

Protect Your Vision

There are nearly 2,000 eye injuries occurring in the U.S. each day and almost all of these injuries can be prevented. Check out these links from the DOD's Vision Center of Excellence to understand eye injuries and how you can prevent them:

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Ask the Doc: All This Noise is Giving Me Headaches

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6/13/2022
Ask the Doc: Noise from ship can cause headaches. Try to give your ears a rest when you can.

Ask the Doc: What is causing all of these headaches?

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New Centers Will Deliver Advanced Care for Serious Eye Injuries

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4/27/2022
Army Brig. Gen. Katherine Simonson, Defense Health Agency Deputy Assistant Director of the Research and Engineering Directorate, and Dr. Barclay Butler, Assistant Director for Management, DHA, talks with Army Lt. Col. Samantha Rodgers, Ophthalmology chief (left), during a tour and designation ceremony April 19 at the Ocular Trauma Center – San Antonio Region, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The designation ceremony marked the launch of DHA’s first Ocular Trauma Center, comprised of personnel from Brooke Army Medical Center and the 59th Medical Group. (Photo: Larine H. Barr, DOD)

The Defense Health Agency launched the first of four Ocular Trauma Centers, which will become primary hubs for the treatment of complex eye injuries and development of cutting-edge research programs.

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Wear Approved Safety Eye Protection, Save Your Vision

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3/25/2022
Gunner with 1Brigade Combat Team 82nd Division wears shaded eye protection as he fires his M249 at Rotation 21-05 at the Joint Readiness Training Center. (Photo: Capt. Joseph Warren)

The Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Branch, or TSVCRB, encourages service members to wear eye protection while at work and at home to prevent eye injuries.

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Ask the Doc: Can a Concussion Affect Hearing and Vision?

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3/16/2022
Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, a physical therapist for the Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinic, New York, uses a model of the inner ear on Feb. 27, 2019, to demonstrate how a concussion can cause inner ear, or vestibular, damage which may result in dizziness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, balance problems and irritability to name a few. (Photo: Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum MEDDAC)

Even a mild concussion can lead to hearing and vision problems.

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Data Registry Helps Improve Research and Treatment for Eye Injuries

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3/14/2022
Pvt. Second Class Jagger Dixon, treats an eye injury during Expert Infantryman Badge testing, June 15, 2021, at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Dixon is a soldier with B Company; 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Soldiers must successfully execute a variety of warrior tasks to earn their EIB. (Photo: Army Spc. Kay Edwards, 27th Public Affairs Detachment)

Eye injury registry (DVEIVR) transforms data into usable information to help improve initial warfighter care and rehabilitation.

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Ringing in Your Ears Might Be a Sign of Hearing Loss

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3/10/2022
Army Col. Randy Lau fires a 120 mm mortar during a live-fire exercise at Camp Roberts, California, June 15, 2021.

Tinnitus can affect your concentration, reaction time, and short-term memory. It can be linked to anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Some people turn to substance abuse to try to block the sounds.

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It’s True – Carrots (and Other Vegetables) Can Help You See in the Dark

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3/4/2022
Each color in fruits and vegetables indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.

Have you ever heard that carrots are good for your eyes, or that they can help you see in the dark? It’s true – carrots are rich in the compound beta carotene, which your body uses to make a form of vitamin A that helps your eyes adjust in the dark. A shortage of vitamin A can cause a host of health problems, including blindness.

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For Thousands of Troops, Eye Surgery is Key to Vision Readiness

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2/10/2022
A surgical team with the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg monitors the progress of a patient's surgery inside the Ophthalmology Clinic's Refractive Surgery suite.

Helping service members – especially aviators – see clearly without glasses is key to military readiness.

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Researchers Connect with Warfighters to Guide Tech Development

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1/25/2022
Military personnel trying an immersive training device

Researchers ‘get out of the clinic’ to learn warfighter challenges

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Military Laser Eye Surgery: Enhancing Vision Readiness

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7/12/2021
Military health personnel looking at wavescan results

Enhancing vision readiness through laser eye surgery is now available at 26 military medical treatment facilities.

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Ask the Doc: Eye Need Answers

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7/8/2021
Senior Airman Mitchel Delfosse, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical environmental system journeyman, attends an eye exam appointment Jan. 30, 2020, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Maj. (Dr.) Gerardo Robles-Morales, 22nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry flight commander, recommends an eye exam a minimum of every two years to ensure overall eye health and correct vision. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Bosarge)

Dear Doc: I consider myself pretty lucky. I'm in my late 20s and I've never had any eye problems to speak of. I have 20/20 vision and I've never worn glasses. But...the Air Force tells me to protect my eyes and I'm not exactly sure what that means. Do you know anyone who can give me some solid advice on the best options for eye protection? What should I be wearing at work or on the flight line? What should I be wearing out in the sun? I know I have a lot of questions, but I just want to protect myself as best as possible. Thanks in advance, Doc! -Eye Need Answers

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Mobile hearing test system enables quicker diagnosis, treatment

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7/8/2021
Military personnel during a hearing test

Portable device can detect hearing loss in remote areas, clinic settings and beyond.

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Vision Care Service Coordinators Support Ocular Care Management

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6/24/2021
Military health personnel giving an eye appointment

Vision care service coordinators support eye injury and vision loss patient recovery.

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Patients Contribute to Shape Future Hearing Loss Treatment

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6/21/2021
Barbara Kelly from the Hearing Loss Association of America hosting a meeting

Patient-focused meeting could lead to improved hearing loss therapies

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Cataracts Concern Battle Fighters, the Aging

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6/21/2021
A doctor performing cataract surgery

Traumatic cataracts can occur during battlefield injuries, but they are largely avoidable in non-combat situations.

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Last Updated: May 18, 2021

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

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