The Grand Canyons

The Army and the Importance of Hearing Protection

Posted In Talking Points - By The Grand Canyons on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 With No Comments »

soldierThe U.S. Army is fully aware of the dire consequences of acoustic trauma. Noise-induced hearing loss affects the performance of military personnel in the field, as well as in training.

As such, prevention of hearing loss among Army personnel is the goal of the Army Hearing Program. This is a good example of a proactive approach to ensuring personnel performance by prevention of injury, in this case in the sense of hearing.

Noise-induced hearing loss

Loss of hearing due to excessive noise is nothing short of a tragedy. There’s no cure, and the injury is permanent.

You can only safely listen to sounds measuring 100 decibels (dB), such as a live concert, for 15 minutes. You risk hearing loss if your exposure to this noise level increases. While the problem of noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible, it’s also preventable.

There are two main approaches to preventing this kind of impairment. The first is to turn down the volume so that it’s not harmful to human hearing. The second is using effective hearing protection. In military procedures and operations, however, it’s often impossible to turn down the volume.

Military noises and hearing protection

Studies demonstrate that military personnel can damage their hearing during shooting exercises as well as during deployment in combat. The use of certain weapons may produce noises that reach 110-120 decibels. Peak noise levels measured reach 180 dB.

Aside from the noises produced by firearms and other military-grade weapon, other sources of excessive noise are tanks and other combat vehicles. Exposure to these kinds of noises makes hearing protection necessary.

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And military personnel can’t use just any hearing aid, either. Tactical Hearing says the military electronic hearing protection should successfully lower outside noise, but also facilitate communications between personnel, especially during high risk missions.

Military personnel perform risky procedures, but they’re also at risk for injury from exposure to the noises produced by their weapons and equipment. They deserve nothing less than the best protective devices.