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NEWS | Nov. 10, 2020

Protect your hearing with TRICARE

By TRICARE Communications TRICARE Communications

Do you find it hard to hear your family or friends during conversations? Have you missed hearing a doorbell ring or horn beep? Hearing loss is a common issue caused by noise, aging, heredity, and disease. Hearing is vital to teamwork and communication, especially in a military setting.

TRICARE may cover hearing exams and hearing aids. This is based on your TRICARE health plan and sponsor type.

According to the Hearing Center of Excellence, excessive exposure to loud or close noises can cause irreversible damage to hearing. Taking precautions with protection can protect your hearing.

“During National Audiology Awareness Month, take the time to consider how to reduce the noise impact in your environment,” said Dr. James Black, medical director of the Clinical Support Division at the Defense Health Agency. “If you believe you or a family member needs a hearing screening, talk to your provider.”

Regular hearing screenings

Hearing screenings are tests that determine hearing loss. Hearing screenings are simple and quick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop language skills. Early intervention can help your child reach their full potential. Talk with your child’s provider if you suspect hearing loss.

Children through age 5 are covered through the well-child benefit using TRICARE Select, and covered regardless of age with TRICARE Prime. TRICARE covers one hearing screening annually for active duty family membersRetired service members may be eligible for hearing exams at your local military hospital or clinic, if space is available.

If you need hearing aids

If you’re an active duty service member or active duty family member, TRICARE covers hearing aids and services if you have hearing loss that meets specific hearing thresholds.

TRICARE doesn’t cover hearing aids and services for retirees or their family members. However, retirees may be able to get hearing aids through other programs, such as the Department of Veterans AffairsRetiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program, or at a reduced cost at certain military hospitals and clinics.

Use hearing protection

Whenever you’re in a noisy environment, you should wear hearing protection.

Service members are at risk for hearing loss from brief exposure to sudden noises, like weapons fire, or sustained ambient noise, like an aircraft. Hearing protection devices can protect you against damaging noise levels that can lead to hearing loss. These devices include ear plugs, noise muffs, and noise attenuating helmets.

Take command of your health and learn ways to protect your hearing and your ears. Learn more about your hearing benefit with TRICARE. 

At the time of posting, this information is current. For the most recent information, contact your TRICARE contractor or local military hospital or clinic.