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Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects more than 28 million Americans, including more than half of those over age 75. When combined with tinnitus, which is a ringing, buzzing, or other type of noise that originates in the head, hearing issues are the most frequently found service-connected disability among American Veterans. Learn more.

VA’s Major SCI Accomplishments:

• Demonstrating the effectiveness of three types of hearing aids in the Hearing Aid Clinical Trial
• Establishing the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research to study hearing problems in Veterans and develop effective treatments
• Developing the Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM) approach to treating tinnitus
• Finding that a frequency modulation system may help TBI-affected Veterans with normal hearing but problems understanding speech

Below is a story that illustrates VA’s commitment to advancing technology and research initiatives to benefit our nation’s Veterans.

A study participant uses the OtoID system to test his hearing

A study participant uses the OtoID system to test his hearing

New device helps halt hearing loss for cancer patients

When cancer strikes, doctors do what they can to save lives. Chemotherapy drugs are potent weapons against cancer cells, but they can have serious and permanent side effects. One of them is hearing loss.

Researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System have developed technology to help prevent this side effect. They call it the OtoID, and so far the system has been tested with the help of 110 volunteers, with promising results.

The technology itself doesn't treat the hearing loss caused by some chemotherapy drugs, but it enables patients to easily and reliably test their own hearing, so the first signs of damage can be caught early on.

In most cases, doctors will be able to adjust the dose of the drug, or perhaps use a different one. Read more...