Veterans' Hearing Problems

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Veterans' Hearing Problems

Hearing loss is a known hazard of military service and one of the most common reasons for receiving Veterans Affairs Canada disability benefits. Prevalences of hearing problems for Regular Force Veterans (released1998 to 2012) were compared to the Canadian general population using data from the Life After Service Studies and the Canadian Community Health Survey.

  1. Hearing Problems Have Big Impacts
    Hearing problems are linked to social isolation, employment and family problems, mental and physical health problems, poor social and psychological well-being, cognitive decline and mortality.
  2. Not Just an "Old Age" Issue
    Veterans aged 25-50 also reported hearing problems — on average 5 times more often than Canadians of the same age in the general population
  3. Early Recognition is Key
    Recognizing and treating hearing problems early in life can improve quality of life now and prevent worse problems later in life.
  4. Prevention, Treatment and Support.
    Learn to prevent hearing loss at work, home and leisure.
    Veterans of all ages should consult with a health professional about hearing.
    Benefits & support are available for hearing loss & tinnitus related to military
Hearing Problems By Age
  20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-70
Canadian General Population 0.3% 0.4% 0.5% 1% 1% 1.7% 2.3% 4.2% 5.9% 11.98%
Regular Force Veterans (LASS 2013) 0.8% 2.7% 2.4% 1.1% 7.6% 10.3% 14.3% 17.1% 18.7% 21.9%

The self-report hearing measure used in the surveys underestimates audiometric hearing impairment in the Canadian general population by 5 times, on average.

Info Brief References (Veterans' Hearing Problems):

Thompson JM, VanTil L, Feder K, Sweet J, Boswall M, Courchesne C, Banta G, Lamontagne P, Bogaert L. Prevalence of hearing problems in Canadian Armed Forces Veterans – Life After Service Studies. Journal of Military Veteran and Family Health. 2016.

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