To promote army readiness, quality of life and reduce incidence of noise-induced hearing loss through a state-of-the-art hearing loss prevention program across Fort Bragg installation.
The Army Hearing Program (AHP) per provides information on hearing, hearing loss prevention, hearing protection, DOEHRS-HC, hearing monitoring, and reducing noise hazards. The AHP consists of four components:
· Hearing Readiness is designed to ensure Soldiers have the required hearing capability to perform their job-specific duties, as well as the appropriate and properly-fitted hearing protection devices for their mission. The primary purpose of hearing readiness is to identify early changes in hearing and provide education, individual counseling, and hearing protection to prevent damage to hearing. A key element of hearing readiness is monitoring audiometry, which is conducted with the current DOD-approved microprocessor audiometer system comprised of the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System-Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS–HC) software application, the current DOD-approved audiometer, and the DOEHRS–HC Data Repository (DR) Web-based Application. All Soldiers are required to undergo an annual DOEHRS–HC audiogram. Monitoring audiometry data is made available through Medical Protection System (MEDPROS), thus providing the capability for monitoring and tracking of hearing for both individual and unit-level hearing readiness.
· Clinical Hearing Services are intended to determine a Soldier’s auditory fitness-for-duty (FFD) by determining the degree and cause of hearing loss and measuring a Soldier’s hearing ability against a performance or medical standard. Clinical hearing services for at risk DA Civilians who are exposed to hazardous noise are intended to determine work-relatedness of hearing loss. After degree and cause have been determined, treatment and management plans can be initiated. Treatment plans may include medical or surgical intervention, prescription of personal hearing aids, assistive listening devices, aural rehabilitation, tinnitus management, new hearing protection or monitoring of the condition for changes.
· Operational Hearing Services focus on preventing or mitigating NIHL during military operations while maintaining or facilitating the Soldiers’ ability to communicate. Operational hearing services focus on noise assessment and abatement strategies, improved communication, and the use of specialized hearing protection devices, such as non-linear and linear dual-function earplugs designed to reduce the impact of noise and NIHL on military operations. Tactical Communications and Protective Systems (TCAPS) are designed to amplify low-volume sounds and facilitate face-to-face and radio communications while simultaneously protecting the ear from hazardous impulse noise (such as, weapons fire). These types of devices protect hearing in both operational training and combat environments while allowing Soldiers to maintain their ability to hear and communicate, especially in dismounted operations.
Hearing conservation - For many years, the AHP served as the flagship for the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. The hearing conservation component of the AHP is industrial-focused and is instrumental in preventing NIHL in primarily fixed-facility work environments. HC efforts are conducted in support of both the DA Civilian workforce and Soldiers working in industrial-based settings. While HC requirements continue to exist in their previous form and function, they now serve in concert with additional AHP components to provide comprehensive hearing loss prevention and hearing health promotion program.