Paper  |   December 2005
Postdeployment Hearing Loss in U.S. Army Soldiers Seen at Audiology Clinics From April 1, 2003, Through March 31, 2004
Author Notes
Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy
Paper   |   December 2005
Postdeployment Hearing Loss in U.S. Army Soldiers Seen at Audiology Clinics From April 1, 2003, Through March 31, 2004
American Journal of Audiology December 2005, Vol.14, 161-168. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/018)
History: Accepted 12 Aug 2005 , Received 15 Oct 2004 , Revised 30 Mar 2005
American Journal of Audiology December 2005, Vol.14, 161-168. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2005/018)
History: Accepted 12 Aug 2005 , Received 15 Oct 2004 , Revised 30 Mar 2005

Purpose: U.S. Army soldiers face unique noise exposures in the current deployed setting. The effects of these deployment-related exposures have not previously been documented.

Method: In an attempt to initiate this process, medical evaluations performed at military audiology clinics from April 2003 through March 2004 were reviewed to compare noise-induced hearing loss injury (NIHLI) outcomes among soldiers whose diagnoses were classified as postdeployment-related versus non-postdeployment-related. Sentinel NIHLI outcomes of interest included acoustic trauma, permanent threshold shift, eardrum perforation, tinnitus, and military-specific H-3 and H-4 hearing loss profiles.

Results: Significantly higher rates of NIHLI and associated outcomes were observed among soldiers whose diagnoses were postdeployment-related.

Conclusions: Based on the findings from this evaluation, recommendations are provided for enhancing the force health protection posture for prevention of hearing loss in future deployments.

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