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Military Health System

Hearing Center of Excellence

The Hearing Center of Excellence (HCE) fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation, and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. The goal is to reduce the tangible and intangible costs of hearing loss and auditory injuries among U.S. military personnel and Veterans. HCE works with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and leads the cooperative effort to meet its goal.

Mission

The mission of the Hearing Center of Excellence is to optimize operational performance, heighten medical readiness, and enhance quality of life through collaborative leadership and advocacy for hearing and balance health initiatives.  

History

The Department of Defense (DOD) established the HCE to focus on the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss and auditory injury. HCE was legislated by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act and directed to partner with the VA, institutions of higher education, and other mission-minded public and private organizations.

HCE’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Developing a data registry to track hearing loss and auditory injuries across the Armed Forces, and sharing the registry data with the VA
  • Encouraging and facilitating hearing health research
  • Developing best practices and clinical education, and
  • Ensuring the coordination and delivery of VA rehabilitation benefits and services to former Service members

Audio and Print Materials

The Hearing Center of Excellence, or HCE, has produced hearing-related print materials for hearing health providers, audiologists, audiology departments, and medical treatment facilities. The HCE print materials can be downloaded and printed. Or, if you prefer, many of them can be ordered online and shipped to you or your facility.

Audio CDs produced by the Auditory Research Laboratory are also available and can be ordered online.

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Mobile Hearing Tests Prove Successful in the Field and Beyond

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Mobile audiometry equipment can be used from the point of injury to advanced traumas.

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DOD Conservation Programs Help to Decrease Hearing Loss

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Hearing conservation programs help to reduce hearing loss in the military.

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New Policy Benefits Noise-exposed Service Members

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Audiology Awareness Month Healthy Ears

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8/17/2022
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#DYK? Audiologists are health care professionals who can help prevent, evaluate, diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance disorders. To find an audiologist, visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Resources/Help-and-Support/Find-a-Provider #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

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Audiology Awareness Month Ear Protection

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Service members can prevent hearing loss by wearing protective gear like earplugs, noise muffs, noise-attenuating helmets and other approved devices. Check with your Hearing Conservation Program or audiologist about which protective device is best for your job and environment. For more about HPDs visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Hearing-Protection-Devices https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

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Audiology Awareness Month Hear for Life

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People at every stage of life—from young to older adults—are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss can impact not only your readiness but the quality of life. National Audiology Awareness Month reminds us how important hearing is as a critical sense and explains how to protect your hearing. Regular hearing checkups are important actions you can take to ensure your hearing is healthy. For more information, visit: https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/HearingExams.aspx?sc_database=web https://hearing.health.mil #AudiologyAwarenessMonth

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Ask the Doc: All This Noise is Giving Me Headaches

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Hearing and vision are vital components of force readiness and quality of life. Regular hearing and vision checkups can ensure you are #SightandSoundReady. https://www.dvidshub.net/video/796691/stay-sight-and-sound-ready

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Vision and hearing are critical components of everyday life. Guard your senses to prevent hearing and vision injuries. Learn more: https://vce.health.mil; https://hearing.health.mil, and follow HCE on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/DODHCE #SightandSoundReady

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To be #SightandSoundReady, schedule regular exams to maintain vision and hearing health. Your readiness and well-being depend on it. https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Vision-and-Hearing-Loss-Prevention

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What protective equipment is right for you? The Authorized Protective Eyewear List and Hearing Protection Device Evaluated Products List help service members select proper gear. APEL: https://www.peosoldier.army.mil/Equipment/Approved-Eyewear-QPL/ HPD EPL: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices

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Keep Your Eyes and Ears Healthy

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Vision and hearing health impact every aspect of our lives. Protect your senses so that you can stay ready and connected. https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Vision-and-Hearing-Loss-Prevention #SightandSoundReady

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Take care of your eyes and ears. Contact your military hospital or clinic to schedule preventive health exams, or visit here: https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Vision/EyeExams; https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/HearingExams #SightandSoundReady

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Be #SightandSoundReady Make protecting your eyes and ears a readiness priority by following these seven steps. If you have signs of hearing or vision loss, make an appointment with your local military hospital or clinic, or visit: https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Vision/EyeExams/a; https://www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/HearingExams

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National Save Your Hearing Day (May 31)

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Don’t take your sense of hearing for granted! You can prevent hearing loss by taking special care of your ears in loud and dangerous environments with hearing protection such as ear coverings or ear plugs. Follow this link to find more ways to protect your ears: https://health.mil/HCEHome

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Last Updated: October 31, 2022
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