Veterans - Archive

Army’s Smart Earplug Damps Explosive Noise, But Can Enhance Whispers

June 3, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

HEALTH NEWS FROM NPR

Heard on  Morning Edition

 

Since 2014, the U.S. Army has gradually been deploying the latest version of a hearing protection system that protects users from loud noises while still letting them hear the world around them.

The system is called TCAPS — Tactical Communication and Protective System — and about 20,000 of the new TCAPS devices have been deployed in the field so far.

Hearing loss is a big problem in the military. According to Defense Department statistics, more than half of all troops returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from some sort of damage to their hearing.

Read more  . .   Smart Earplug

HLAA offers Complimentary Membership for Veterans

May 31, 2016 in Community News

 

Veterans

Do you have a hearing loss due to military service? A report from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that more than 59,000 military members are on disability for hearing loss from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

HLAA was founded in 1979 by Howard “Rocky” Stone, a retired CIA agent, who endured hearing loss from his service in the United States Army. Rocky was well-known in the agency for both his skill and his hearing loss. On one occasion he was having a hard time “hearing” when talking with then-Director Richard Helms, so Rocky plopped himself on Helms’ desk and asked him to face him directly so he could read his lips! Another time, his old-fashioned body hearing aid was mistaken for a recording spy device and was confiscated. Rocky earned the Agency’s highest honor and went onto establish an organization for people who have hearing loss and want to stay in the hearing world with technology and strategies.

Learn more on the HLAA website

Veterans Affairs Simplifies Disability Application Process

April 10, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News

 

 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making it easier for Veterans to apply for VA disability compensation. The VA’s new standardized claim and appeal forms help Veterans clearly state the symptoms or conditions based on which they are applying for benefits. This allows the VA to more quickly process their claims and appeals. The easiest and fastest way for Veterans to apply for benefits is through eBenefits.

From Sacrifice to Silence

February 13, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

KFOX – El Paso, Texas
Thursday, February 5, 2015

For decades, men and women have heard the call to serve their country and answered it with pride. Many, however, have come back with hearing loss as a result of their work in the military. According to the Veteran’s Administration, hearing loss and tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ears) are the two most prevalent service-connected disabilities among all veterans.

The VA reports that 2,116,528 veterans received disability compensation for hearing loss in fiscal year 2013, an increase of more than 200,000 since 2012 and over 766,000 since 2009. It’s a problem that spans from generation to generation, from World War II veterans to Korean conflict, Vietnam era, Gulf War era, Iraq, Afghanistan and even peacetime veterans.

Although the issue is widespread, some veterans say they aren’t receiving the disability compensation they deserve, because they can’t prove that their hearing loss is a direct result of their service.

“I’ve tried to go to the VA several times, and they don’t acknowledge it, saying I don’t have hearing loss,” Francisco Herrera said.

Herrera served as an active duty member of the Navy from 1983 to 1987 and then served in the reserves until 1999. He worked as a cook on the ship, with the boiler room situated below and the landing deck above.

“Every day, day in and day out, you have this noise constantly, and especially on aircraft carriers where you have aircraft taking off, sometimes going out 24/7,” Herrera said.

Herrera has been appealing to the VA for disability compensation since 2006 and has the piles of paperwork to prove it. In 2014, Herrera was approved to receive 10 percent disability compensation for tinnitus. He is still in the appeals process for compensation due to hearing loss.

According to hearing specialist Rebecca Hernandez, who works with many military veterans from Fort Bliss, Francisco is not alone.

“What is happening now that we are seeing is that they’re being recognized as having a hearing loss but it’s not being service-connected so they’re not getting benefits from the VA or active duty,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez worked with 232 military veterans who have hearing loss in just a three month span last year. She notes that unlike other service related injuries where an exact incident can be pointed out, hearing loss happens over time.

“Because deaf and hard of hearing is an invisible disability they don’t understand it,” Hernandez said.

U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke has been a longtime supporter of veterans, even dedicating part of his staff to solely dealing with the issue.

Read More  . . . Sacrifice to Silence (Video No Captions)

Research Aims to Help Veterans with Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research, Technology

 

 

Science Blog
December 1, 2014

Many combat veterans suffer hearing loss from blast waves that makes it difficult to understand speech in noisy environments – a condition called auditory dysfunction – which may lead to isolation and depression. There is no known treatment.

Building on promising brain-training research at the University of California, Riverside related to improving vision, researchers at UC Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a novel approach to treat auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds.

The team is seeking public support to raise the estimated $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they believe will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.

“This is exploratory research, which is extremely hard to fund,” said Aaron Seitz, UCR professor of neuropsychology. “Most grants fund basic science research. We are creating a brain-training game based on our best understanding of auditory dysfunction. There’s enough research out there to tell us that this is a solvable problem. These disabled veterans are a patient population that has no other resource.”

Seitz said the research team is committed to the project regardless of funding, but donations will accelerate development of the brain-training game by UCR graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and neuroscience; pilot studies on UCR students with normal hearing; testing the game with veterans; and refining the game to the point that it can be released for public use.

Auditory dysfunction is progressive, said Alison Smith, a graduate student in neuroscience studying hearing loss in combat vets who is a disabled veteran. Nearly 8 percent of combat veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from traumatic brain injury, she said. Of those, a significant number complain about difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, even though they show no external hearing loss.

“Approximately 10 percent of the civilian population is at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, and there have been more than 20,000 significant cases of hearing loss per year since 2004,” added Smith, who served in the Army National Guard as a combat medic for five years.

Read more . . . 

 

Hearing Problems Plague Vets Of All Ages

July 24, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

insurencenews.net
By Von Lunen, Kelly

Proquest LLC
Article Source

Ear damage continues at an alarming rate among active-duty service members. Individual services, VA and VFW are working to improve prevention and health care that applies to veterans alike.

Not surprisingly, hearing loss and tinnitus are the top two most common service-connected disabilities. More than 1.5 million veterans receive VA compensation for these conditions. But the problem grows faster than solutions can catch up to.

The Marine Corps started tracking hearing loss in 2009 and now requires annual tests for all Marines. Other services and specific units get tested annually. However, this step in the right direction does nothing to improve actual ear protection or promote care for hearing damage after it occurs.

Benjy L. Partin, II, served as a tank mechanic with H&S Co., 1st Tank Bn., 1stMarine Div., from February to September 2010 in Deleram, Helmand province,Afghanistan. His experience echoes that of combat veterans going back decades. He credits five years of working around tanks with much of his hearing damage.

“If you get into a firefight, you don’t exactly have time to put ear plugs in while you’re getting shot at or while mortars and IEDs are exploding,” he said. “And it goes without saying that that much noise in close quarters damages your ears.”

Now a student, 24-year-old Partin has 10% VA service connection for bilateral hearing loss and tinnitus. He describes the hearing loss as not severe enough to need hearing aids. But, he says, “I hate silence because the ringing drives me nuts.”

Hearing loss forces Partin to sit at the front of his classes. Although he says he has gotten good at reading lips, the nature of hearing loss makes it difficult to distinguish between words.

“I can hear the noise, but it’s hard to tell what the person is actually saying,” he says. “My family understands that they have to be loud, but we have no problem with that. The biggest impact in my personal life is music. It is my hobby and my passion, and now it’s a little bit harder to enjoy. But you can never give up on your passion.”

HIGH COSTS, LONG WAITS

Service members are often reluctant to wear ear protection due to a perception that it makes them unable to hear what goes on around them. As a result, some 60% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have some form of hearing loss or tinnitus. VA estimates that more than 59,000 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans receive disability ratings for hearing loss.

Even proper use of required ear protection isn’t enough sometimes. With advancing technology, profound hearing loss is not necessarily grounds for discharge. As of November 2013, 39 activeduty service members have received cochlear implants, according to Military Times.

Read more . . .

Hearing loss the most prevalent injury among returning veterans

May 22, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

After a decade of war, America is well schooled on post-traumatic stress, lost limbs and traumatic brain injury, but the most common injury sustained by U.S. troops is literally a silent wound: hearing loss.

Mark Brogan, a retired Army captain, can speak quite personally about almost all of those examples of combat carnage – he suffered a brain injury, a spinal injury and a nearly severed right arm when a suicide bomber on foot detonated his weapon near Brogan six year ago in Iraq.

What does Brogan, 32, consider the worst of the physical trauma? “Hearing loss and the brain injury,” he said from his home in Knoxville, Tenn. He has “profound unusable hearing” in his right ear and severe hearing loss in his left, he said, along with constant ringing, or tinnitus, in his ears.

After the insurgent’s bomb killed a soldier just behind Brogan – along with the person who was wearing the device – other U.S. troops quickly rushed Brogan’s side and saw blood streaming from both ears, he said.

“You’ve been to a concert – you know how your ears are ringing afterward? It’s just like that my entire life,” Brogan said. “A lot of guys get home and they probably don’t even think about getting their hearing checked.

According the Department of Veterans Affairs, the most prevalent service-connected disabilities for veterans receiving federal compensation in 2011 were tinnitus and hearing loss, respectively, followed by PTSD.

Read More . . . .

Veterans Conference on Hearing Loss

September 26, 2013 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Soldiering on with Confidence & Independence: 2013 Veterans Conference on Hearing Loss Veterans_HearingLoss

Who: Veterans who are hard of hearing and their families
Where: John F. Fick Conference Center,
1301 Sam Perry Boulevard
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
When: Saturday, November 9, 2013; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Why: To honor veterans for their service and give them a forum to share information, personal experiences, strategies and more about living with hearing loss.

Cost: $20 (includes lunch)

To register see PDF document –  VeteransConference.PDF

Highlights:

  • Helpful presentations from leading physicians and audiologists
  • Information about the latest hearing loss technologies, including implantable hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • Opportunities to meet other veterans with hearing loss and share experiences and coping skills
  • Service dogs presentation and live demonstration
  • Variety of assistive communication devices on display, courtesy of Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Hamilton CapTel

 Sponsors

The disAbility Resource Center
Mary Washington Healthcare
Med-El
Northern Virginia Resource Center
VDDHH
Virginia Relay
Virginia Relay CapTel
Virginia Wounded Warriors Program
Interpreters and CART provided by VDDHH.

The disAbility Resource Center
409 Progress Street
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
Email: apriola@cildrc.org
Phone: 540-373-2559
VP: 1-866-643-4953
Fax: 540-373-8126
www.cildrc.org

 

 


 

Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

 

 

2013 Veterans Conference on Hearing Loss , Nov.9th

September 6, 2013 in Community Events, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

Soldiering on with Confidence & Independence: 2013 Veterans Conference on Hearing Loss Veterans_HearingLoss

Who: Veterans who are hard of hearing and their families
Where: John F. Fick Conference Center,
1301 Sam Perry Boulevard
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
When: Saturday, November 9, 2013; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Why: To honor veterans for their service and give them a forum to share information, personal experiences, strategies and more about living with hearing loss.

Cost: $20 (includes lunch)

To register see PDF document –  VeteransConference.PDF

Highlights:

  • Helpful presentations from leading physicians and audiologists
  • Information about the latest hearing loss technologies, including implantable hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • Opportunities to meet other veterans with hearing loss and share experiences and coping skills
  • Service dogs presentation and live demonstration
  • Variety of assistive communication devices on display, courtesy of Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Hamilton CapTel

 Sponsors

The disAbility Resource Center
Mary Washington Healthcare
Med-El
Northern Virginia Resource Center
VDDHH
Virginia Relay
Virginia Relay CapTel
Virginia Wounded Warriors Program
Interpreters and CART provided by VDDHH.

The disAbility Resource Center
409 Progress Street
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
Email: apriola@cildrc.org
Phone: 540-373-2559
VP: 1-866-643-4953
Fax: 540-373-8126
www.cildrc.org


 


 

Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thanks to Our Veterans and Sources for Information

November 12, 2012 in NVRC, NVRC Announcements

NVRC THANKS OUR VETERANS

Please tell veterans about NVRC’s services

and share our contact information

Other Sources of Hearing Help for Veterans:

 Hearing Loss Association of America

http://www.hearingloss.org/content/veterans

No-Cost Telecommunications Equipment for Qualified Virginia Military Veterans

http://www.varelayblog.org/
About.com

http://deafness.about.com/cs/latehearingloss/a/veterans.htm

 


© Copyright 2012 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.


Veterans Now Get Hearing Aids Closer to Home

April 17, 2012 in Technology

By Taylor Sisk, NorthCarolinaHealthNews.org 3/19/2012With new technology, more health care services can be provided remotely. The Department of Veterans Affairs is jumping on the trend.

Charles Alligood sat in the locker room of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Greenville listening to a recorded male voice deliver a short exposition on the carrot – that it’s a reddish-yellow root vegetable with several thin leaves on a long stem, belongs to the parsley family, is grown all over the world – most of which he probably already knew and/or couldn’t care less about.
But Alligood, 67, didn’t drive 20-odd miles from his home in Washington for a horticulture lesson. The room where he sat has been fashioned into an audiology lab, and Alligood came to be fitted for hearing aids, focusing his attention on the narrator’s voice.
Last November, the Durham VA Medical Center (VAMC) was selected as one of 10 VA centers to participate in a pilot project that allows veterans to have their hearing aids remotely programmed and fine-tuned.   Read more . . . →