Did You Know: Veterans Qualify for Hearing Tests
A lot of veterans suffer from hearing loss. If you have served in the military, chances are, you’re eligible for hearing-related benefits from Veterans Affairs. The hearing loss treatment assistance given by the VA relies upon some general eligibility prerequisites. Once met, veterans can acquire hearing aids and hearing tests.
Loss of hearing and tinnitus are exceedingly common in former combatants. Based on a study conducted by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16.4 to 26.6% of male vets from both the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War currently under the VA care are afflicted with severe hearing loss and tinnitus. The study also reported that 7.3 to 13.4% of female vets suffer from hearing disabilities.
General requirements for hearing-related healthcare eligibility for vets include:
- Individuals who have compensable service-connected disabilities
- Individuals who were Prisoners of War
- Individuals who are Purple Heart recipients
- Individuals who are currently receiving Title 38 United States Code 1151 benefits
- Individuals with increased pension due to being housebound permanently or are in need of round-the-clock aid and assistance
- Individuals with significant functional or cognitive disability that impedes day-to-day activities
Essential prerequisites may also include:
- Vets with hearing disabilities caused by medical conditions, who are currently receiving VHA services
- Vets with hearing disability, acute enough to restrict their ability to take part in their own medical care
- Vets with service-connected hearing impairment which resulted to hardships in communication
Preventive Steps to Avoid Hearing Loss in Today’s Military
Since a hearing test is part of the series of evaluations vets often go through, especially after a service-related injury, the military and other medical institutions provide steps on how to avoid hearing disability. VA works with numerous military people who are suffering from hearing loss after active duty. Vets who were in combat, particularly those who spent an extended period in the force, will find that having hearing problems is quite common. In fact, based on the VA website, almost 10% of the disabilities of veterans are related to hearing.
Those who are on active duty and are about to be deployed can protect themselves against future hearing ailments by following these protective steps:
- Lessen exposure to noisy surroundings, especially outside of the force where they have a more substantial control of their environment.
- Wear hearing protection every time around or near a noise hazard.
- Stay clear of medicines that have side effects on hearing. Before taking any medication, always check with a physician if the drugs may produce unusual adverse reactions.
- Put on protective head gear to prevent trauma or injury.
- Go on regular hearing checkups.
Hearing Tests for Veterans
If you’re a vet and are experiencing hearing difficulties, get a hearing test from your local clinic or go to a VA facility in your area.