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Hearing Loss and Survivability
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss:
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by permanent, irreversible damage to the inner ear. Noise-induced hearing loss first occurs in the high frequencies (treble sounds). People with NIHL often say they hear fine. This is often true because they do still hear some sounds very softly. Unfortunately, not hearing high frequencies (e.g. consonant sounds) will affect the ability to understand speech, especially in background noise. The only way to prevent this hearing loss is by using properly fitted Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs).
Tinnitus is often described as a high-pitched ringing or buzzing in the ear. While in some cases it can be the result of a medical condition, the majority of tinnitus is caused by noise exposure. Tinnitus of some degree is common but not normal. More exposure to noise can significantly increase the frequency and volume of tinnitus. More information on tinnitus is available from the American Tinnitus Association at: http://www.ata.org
Hearing Testing and Readiness
All Soldiers assigned or PROFIS to field units must have their hearing tested annually to maintain hearing readiness. Units schedule hearing test through their unit hearing program officer for permanent party personnel assigned to Fort Hood. Individuals who miss unit testing may walk-in at Thomas Moore Health Clinic on Mondays 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to receive their hearing screening.
Soldiers in processing to Fort Hood who need a current hearing screening may come to Thomas Moore Health Clinic on Fridays 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. to get their hearing screened.
Soldiers in processing to For Hood who need an appointment to see an audiologist may come to Thomas Moore Health Clinic to schedule an appointment Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
All annual, and pre–deployment testing is scheduled at the unit level for permanent party personnel assigned to Fort Hood. The POC for coordinating unit scheduling can be contacted at 285-6288 or 285-6348.
Walk–in testing is Monday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m, at Thomas Moore Health clinic. Personnel scheduled for physicals and scheduled units have priority. Every effort will be made to see walk–ins in a timely manner.
Each Soldier will be provided with a personal set of hearing protection before having their hearing tested. Any Soldiers who needs hearing protection may report to Thomas Moore Health Clinic to be fit with the appropriate size and type hearing protector.
Combat Arms Earplugs:
All deploying personnel should be fit and instructed in the proper use of Combat Arms Earplugs (CAE). CAE should be provided in the Soldier's RFI issue. Active duty permanent party personnel are strongly encouraged to look for their CAE within their RFI issue. If available, personnel are required to bring their CAE to their unit scheduled pre-deployment hearing screening to have them checked for proper size and fit. Personnel who do not bring their CAE to their pre-deployment hearing screening will be fit with available pre-formed hearing protection. Units desiring to ensure their Soldiers have CAE may purchase the earplugs at the unit level through the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) system.
page last modified on: 5/7/2013