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News | June 3, 2024

DHA, BACH Celebrate May as Hearing, Vision Health Month

By BACH Public Affairs

Hospitals across the DHA celebrate May as Hearing and Vision Health Month, and the specialty staff and clinicians of Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Health System provide a gold standard of care for hearing and vision health readiness.

BACH, LaPointe and Byrd Medical Homes ready its military and civilian staff to assist with most hearing and vision health needs.

“Readiness is our primary mission and first priority,” says 1st Lt. Reagan Ruska, Army Hearing Program Audiologist.

“Hearing damage is cumulative. What you are exposed to early in your career, and off-duty, can impact your ability to hear later in life.”

According to Ruska, an impulse noise that exceeds 140 decibels is loud enough to cause instantaneous, permanent hearing loss. For Soldiers, 140db of ‘sound’ is found in every weapon system Soldiers encounter in their career, which includes blank rounds shot during training.

“A helpful tip to determine if you are around a potential hazardous noise is to use the three-foot rule,” adds Ruska.

“If you’re near a sound source and having a conversation with someone three feet away, no one should have to use a raised voice to be heard, assuming both parties have normal hearing.”

Other warning factors indicating hearing loss can include ringing ears and/or muffled sounds after noise exposure; friends, peers, or significant others constantly having to repeat things to you; and having to concentrate extra hard on people speaking to you, which is also known as listening fatigue.

Eye health is equally important to overall health and quality of life. It’s a common misconception to write off problematic symptoms relating to the eyes due solely to age.

“Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean your vision should be worse,” says Maj. Gregory Giles, BACH Clinic Chief and Ophthalmologist.

Basic eye protection can be as easy as wearing sunglasses or safety glasses and eating a well-balanced diet. Polarized lenses can offer further protection from sunlight, he added.
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