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Auditory Findings in OEF/OIF Veterans at a PNS

Fitzharris KL, Pogoda TK, Lew HL. Auditory Findings in OEF/OIF Veterans at a PNS. Presented at: Joint Defense / Veteran Audiology Annual Conference; 2011 Mar 11; San Diego, CA.

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A growing number of OEF/OIF Veterans are self-reporting hearing impairment, but these subjective reports have yet to be correlated with audiologic evaluation results. This population is especially vulnerable to auditory dysfunction due to general military-related noise conditions and increased risk of blast exposure and traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study is a retrospective chart review of OEF/OIF Veterans seen in a TBI Secondary Level Evaluation clinic at a VA Polytrauma Network Site between October 2009 and June 2010. These patients underwent comprehensive TBI and audiological evaluations. The TBI evaluation, performed by a physiatrist, involved a physical examination and a standardized questionnaire regarding deployment-related experiences, including the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI-22), a subjective measure of the perceived impact of any cognitive, affective, somatic, or sensory symptoms on the patient's life in the past 30 days. Audiometric examinations included pure tone air- and bone-conduction thresholds, SRT, WRS, Dichotic Digits, tympanometry, and distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). Two measures of self-reported handicap, Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly-Screening version (HHIE-S) and the Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS), were also used. Results for 183 Veterans will be presented.

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