Hearing loss and tinnitus are among the the top medical complaints that U.S. military soldiers and veterans have. Consequently, the military spends about $216 million per year on hearing aids and related devices for service members and veterans. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) buys one in every five hearing aids sold annually in the U.S.
It’s essential that service members are provided with the equipment they need to live full and healthy lives. And while military personnel are eligible for discounts on hearing aids, the cost of these devices (from the taxpayer’s perspective) can be in the $1,000 - $5,000 range. It begs the questions: Is there a way to reduce this cost burden on military budgets and the American taxpayer?
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, it makes sense that when active service members and veterans are given their hearing devices, they’re outfitted with training and anything else that will make it easy for them to protect their valuable device from getting lost or damaged.
It’s a fact that even the best-fitting hearing aids can fall out at times. And that’s for the average person. Active duty military who are jumping out of helicopters, crawling through brush, and anything else you can imagine are at an ever greater risk of losing their hearing aid.
In addition, these delicate devices can get damaged from sweat, moisture, and dirt: elements that military personnel understand all too well. Needless to say, the military has extra needs when it comes to protecting their hearing aids.
One of the most affordable and effective ways that soldiers and veterans can protect their hearing devices from loss or damage is to utilize hearing aid protection accessories, such as covers, sleeves, and clips.
Ear Gear is the leading provider of this type of hearing aid protector. Ear Gear’s hearing aid covers are made with a comfortable nylon-spandex blend fabric that even comes in camouflage. These professional-grade hearing aid covers protect the device from sweat, moisture, and dirt while serving the added benefit of filtering out wind noise.
In addition to a hearing aid cover being made with high-quality material, there should be a way for it to attach to the soldier’s or veteran’s clothing. So, if the device does come off, it won’t get lost. This can be done with a cord that attaches the hearing device to the wearer’s clothing.
Ear Gear’s protective sleeves come in models with cords that can be clipped to the wearer’s clothing. The cords are made with a durable elastic stretch fiber and they’re equipped with a cinch ring for added security. In addition, Ear Gear offers styles that are made with o-rings that can attach seamlessly to the wearer’s eyeglasses.
Depending on the type of hearing device the soldier has, whether it’s in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, or any other style, Ear Gear offers solutions that are designed to effectively protect the device from damage or loss.
The impact of hearing loss on the military is a multi-faceted problem. But it’s good to know there is an effective and affordable solution that can help reduce the cost of replacing military hearing aids.
Ear Gear is available at a discount for military personnel and veterans of The United States Armed Forces through the Denver Logistics Service (DLC) catalogue here, under the ADCO tab: https://www.va.gov/opal/nac/dlc/accessories.asp
For more information on VA hearing aid services, contact your local VA Medical Center’s Audiology Department. Veterans Health Administration Locations.