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Mission: Provide support to enhance operational performance, mission readiness, and quality of life through collaborative leadership and advocacy for hearing and balance health


The ability to hear and communicate is critical to Warrior and unit safety. It is central to effective command and control, as well as mission accomplishment. In spite of current hearing conservation efforts, military hearing loss and auditory injuries are still on the rise.

According to the Veterans Benefits Administration, tinnitus and hearing loss are the top two service-connected disabilities for U.S. military Veterans. Tinnitus is the most common service-related disability among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans. Hearing loss is ranked eighth during this era of war.

Although the military services stress the importance of using hearing protection, provide hearing protection devices, and monitor risk through conservation programs, often the need to hear during battle can override the use of hearing protection devices. Some military personnel equate wearing hearing protection with increased vulnerability and decreased situational awareness. This decreases the potential impact of preventive efforts and hearing preservation.

In response to the prevalence and rising costs of military hearing loss and auditory injuries, the Department of Defense established the Hearing Center of Excellence, or HCE. HCE works with the Department of Veterans Affairs and leads the collaborative effort to address the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, research, and rehabilitation of hearing loss and impairment, including audio-vestibular dysfunction often related to traumatic brain injury.

Quick Fact


Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, can develop gradually over time with multiple exposures to loud noises or be the result of a one-time exposure to high-intensity noise.

About Us

The Hearing Center of Excellence fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. It supports the development, exchange and adoption of best practices, research, measures of effectiveness and clinical care guidelines to reduce the prevalence and cost of hearing loss and tinnitus among Warriors and Veterans. Read more

Hearing Health Challenge For Change

Take the challenge, pledge your commitment, and share your story in the prevention of hearing loss in America today.

The Hearing Center of Excellence is committed to promoting Hearing Loss Programs and Hearing Loss Prevention Initiatives across the DoD. Take the pledge to implement the Comprehensive Hearing Health Program (CHHP) at your local clinic and share with us how it's going for you!

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