News & Events
January 31, 2018
High prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans

[] Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience hearing loss, tinnitus or both, a large American study finds.

 In a large study of veterans, nearly 8% (7.78%) of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was diagnosed with hearing loss. 6.5% were diagnosed with tinnitus, and 6.2% had both hearing loss and tinnitus.

570,322 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with at least three years of VA care and with one or more years of care in 2007 or after were included in the study.  The participants had common post-deployment conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other post-concussive conditions e.g. headaches and vertigo/dizziness.

Groups with increased risk

Those who had been exposed to blast exposure were naturally more likely to have hearing loss, tinnitus or both hearing loss and tinnitus.

Veterans who had post-deployment conditions such as TBI, PTSD, depression, comorbid sensory dysfunctions such as visual problems, vertigo and dizziness or headache related pain had significantly increased rates of auditory dysfunctions.

Older males who had served in either the Army or the Marines Corps were most likely to have hearing loss. Furthermore, Caucasians were more likely to experience hearing loss and/or tinnitus. African Americans were those who were less likely to have hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

The study “Prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans: A Chronic Effect of Neurotrauma Consortium study” was published in Hearing Research 347, 2017

Source: Hearing Research