Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 39

Acoustic Trauma and the
Impact of Noise on Our Men
and Women in Uniform
BY BRAD INGRAO

were World War II (WWII) Veterans. Their hearing loss
was so predictable that my professor and I could usually
guess the shape of the audiogram based on which type
of duty the Veteran had. In those days, hearing loss was
most often from loud sound exposure-usually from
gunfire and aircraft engines.
The injury was generally limited to the cochlea, the part
of the inner ear that acts like a microphone, converting
sound vibration to nerve signals. Tinnitus, or ringing in the
ear, was often reported. But patients usually said that they'd
learned to ignore it. A very few reported shell shock. But as
with tinnitus, they indicated that once they got home and
back into the swing of their lives, it settled down.
The typical treatment for this type of injury was
hearing aids, although at that time, the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) provided them only if the Veteran
had reported the hearing injury while still on active duty.
Unfortunately, for most WWII Veterans, the rush to get
home meant that many skipped their exit hearing test
and lost that opportunity. This changed in later years,
after several studies between 1988 and 2011 showed
that treating hearing loss early and with appropriate
hearing aids significantly improves overall wellness and
quality of life. This not only is the right thing to do,
but it also makes the managed health care that the VA
provides more cost effective.

When we talk about hearing loss and related
issues among Veterans, we're typically using it
as a catch-all phrase for several types of injuries
to the ear that can be sustained in combat and
service. In this article, audiologist Brad Ingrao
discusses some of the service-connected injuries
that affect hearing and balance.

World War II and the Korean War

The Vietnam War

My first experience with Veterans and hearing loss was in
1986 when I had a clinical rotation at the Castle Point
Campus of the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System
near Poughkeepsie, New York. Nearly all of the patients
HEARING LIFE

My next VA experience began in 2014, when I was hired
as the chief of audiology and speech pathology at the New
Mexico VA Health Care System in Albuquerque. We still
saw the occasional WWII and Korean War Veterans, but
now, our primary population was those who'd served in
Vietnam. These patients also had noise-induced hearing

* NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 * HEARINGLOSS.ORG * 39


http://www.HEARINGLOSS.ORG

Hearing Life November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hearing Life November/December 2019

A Note From Our Executive Director
Thoughts From Our Board Chair
Founder’s Corner
Supporting Our Veterans Through All Their Years: The HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter
Advocacy
Convention
Never Give Up: A Vietnam Veteran’s Hearing Journey
Walk4Hearing Update
Sue, Eleanor, Fred—And Facing Our Fears
Awards and Recognition
Acoustic Trauma and the Impact of Noise on Our Men and Women in Uniform
A Holiday Getaway to the Big Apple
Hearing Loops at Home
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Cover1
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Cover2
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 3
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 4
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 5
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 6
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - A Note From Our Executive Director
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 8
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 9
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Thoughts From Our Board Chair
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Founder’s Corner
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 12
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Supporting Our Veterans Through All Their Years: The HLAA Veterans Across America Virtual Chapter
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 14
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 15
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 16
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 17
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 18
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Advocacy
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 20
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Convention
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 22
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 23
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 24
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 25
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Never Give Up: A Vietnam Veteran’s Hearing Journey
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 27
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 28
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 29
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 30
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Walk4Hearing Update
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 32
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Sue, Eleanor, Fred—And Facing Our Fears
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 34
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 35
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 36
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Awards and Recognition
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 38
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Acoustic Trauma and the Impact of Noise on Our Men and Women in Uniform
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 40
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - A Holiday Getaway to the Big Apple
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 42
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Hearing Loops at Home
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 44
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 45
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - 46
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Cover3
Hearing Life November/December 2019 - Cover4
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