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Army Today: Hearing Protection

Transcript

Hearing protective devices are as critical to military personnel health and safety as other pieces of military equipment. Yet, they are underutilized. Learn why you should never show up for duty without hearing protection. Hear first-hand accounts from a U.S. Army audiologist and hearing loss sufferers about how a hearing injury could change your life, affecting both your duty position and your relationship with your loved ones.


This is the Army Today. Staying alert and attentive on missions is only half the battle for troops in Iraq. Remembering a small piece of equipment is a major part of their protection. Airman First Class Priscilla Christensen explains.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

Going out on convoys involves a lot of preparation and equipment. You have to make sure you have your full battle rattle on like your vest, your Kevlar helmet, eye protection, and last but not least, hearing protection — a small piece of equipment that plays a large role and often gets left behind.

SSG Axel Rivera

If I could, if I could change it, I would say that I would have hearing protection and I would be fine. But I’m still lucky that I’m still alive.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

Staff Sergeant Axel Rivera was in an infantry troop during the initial invasion of Baghdad, five years ago, when he was attacked by a mortar round.

SSG Axel Rivera

Uh, it was I would say 150 meters from our patrol. Two of my guys got injured.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

Sergeant Rivera wasn’t wearing hearing protection when the mortar hit and lost his ability to hear anything for two days.

SSG Axel Rivera

I did some tests and it ended up being that I was 48 percent deaf.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

A frustrating situation for anyone who has spent their entire life being able to hear. Since then, Sergeant Rivera has adjusted to wearing a hearing aid and learning a new job. Because of his hearing loss he had to leave his love for infantry behind.

MAJ Dan Ohama

It can affect duty positions and also hearing standards for being in the military.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

A scenario, Audiologist Dr. Dan Ohama, sees too often.

MAJ Dan Ohama

Most hearing injuries that occur from weapons fire explosions can be prevented by using hearing protection devices effectively.

SSG Axel Rivera

I advise everyone to wear hearing protections. It’s good for your hearing and for your life. That way when you be 27 like me, you won’t be deaf.

A1C Priscilla Christensen

Airman First Class, Priscilla Christensen, Baghdad.

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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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