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HPD Myths and Misperceptions

Some myths and misperceptions exist around the use of hearing protection devices, or HPDs, in the military. These include:

Myth #1: Wearing HPDs always results in decreased situational awareness.

With today’s increasingly sophisticated technology, Service members no longer need to choose between “deaf or dead.” Hearing protection devices are available that can simultaneously protect hearing and enhance situational awareness. Several HPDs, such as ear plugs, noise muffs, and noise attenuating helmets, provide different levels of noise reduction depending on the need.

Myth #2: Hearing loss is an inevitable part of the military experience.

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that auditory injuries, which include hearing loss and tinnitus, are some of the most common service-connected disabilities among Veterans. However, auditory impairment is NOT inevitable.

In many situations, hearing loss is preventable with the appropriate combination of noise-control procedures and hearing-protective measures. The proper and routine use of hearing protection devices is a critical step to decrease auditory injuries among America’s Armed Forces.

Myth #3: Wearing hearing protection doesn’t work.

When fitted and worn properly, and used for their intended purposes, hearing protection devices can be extremely effective at preserving your hearing. The key is selecting the most appropriate hearing protection device for the job or environment.

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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

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