Our veterans and active duty service members are some of the most important and brave women and men in our country. These brave soldiers have voluntarily put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.

Enlisting in the military comes with many risks, and unfortunately tinnitus and hearing loss are two of them. In fact, tinnitus and hearing loss are the number one and number two most commonly reported injuries by US veterans according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) (https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/veterans/).

Hearing loss is such an issue amongst veterans that the US VA purchases one in five of all hearing aids sold in the United States. On top of an increased risk for developing hearing loss and tinnitus, many soldiers also experience auditory processing disorders that are linked to blast exposure. These veterans score in the average range on hearing assessments but cannot understand normal speech.

Veterans and Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is vital for any person who works in noisy environments, and military training or action are clearly no exception to this. The US Department of Defense contracts with manufacturers to purchase hearing protection for their service members. Unfortunately, it was recently reported that a Minnesota based 3M company knowingly sold defective combat ear plugs to the department of defense. The company continued to sell these defective devices to the department for use by our soldiers despite knowing that they were too short for proper insertion and could be easily dislodged. These ear plugs were distributed to thousands of service members deployed to Afghanistan between 2003-2015.

It is thought that the company put profits before the people they were contracted to protect, and have agreed to pay 9.1 million dollars in damages to settle the claims (https://taskandpurpose.com/bulletpoints/military-defective-earplugs/). Although this money will hopefully help the affected veterans and their families, it will never repair the damage the company has done - as hearing loss is an irreversible diagnosis.

Ear plugs are just one of the ways the department of defense attempts to protect the hearing of its service members. The ear plugs are often accompanied by military grade ear muffs, noise attuning helmets, and even noise suppressors for the weapons themselves.

Veterans and Hearing Aids

Luckily, hearing loss is treatable with hearing aids, and hearing aids can be provided at no cost to veterans through the Department of Veteran Affairs. Recently, veterans have been given more choice as to where they receive their care. Because of these new laws, veterans can now choose to have their hearing loss and/or tinnitus treated at their local audiologist or hearing aid clinic rather than exclusively at the VA. We are hopeful that this will open the door for more veterans to experience the life changing difference that hearing aids can make in their daily lives.

Help your patients care for their hearing aids with Redux

Redux is a revolutionary new hearing aid dryer with professional efficacy. Our hearing aid dryers use a patented vacuum that reduces the evaporation point of water, allowing our dryers to fully remove all moisture from your patient’s hearing aids while keeping them at a safe temperature.

Excess moisture in a wearer’s hearing aid can cause all types of technical difficulties and minor issues with hearing aids. With a Redux dryer, you would be able to quickly and very effectively remove all of the moisture from your patient’s hearing aid, thus solving the problem completely or eliminating moisture buildup as a potential cause of the underlying concern. If you are interested in getting a Redux dryer for your clinic, reach out to our friendly team today. We would be thrilled to assist you.

If you or someone you love is an active member of the armed forces or a veteran, we want to extend a heartfelt expression of gratitude to you. We understand your brave and selfless sacrifice, and want you to know that we at Redux are so very grateful to each of you and your families.

Written by James Shrake

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