Importance of Tactical Hearing Protection in the Military
Noise induced hearing loss is the main injury suffered by military personnel due to exposure to high-level noises. Tactical Hearing Protection is therefore extremely critical for soldiers working in harsh conditions where their hearing is at risk.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss significant source if morbidity
In a military environment, personnel may be exposed to numerous high-level noises that can cause permanent noise induced hearing loss. Weapons produce impulse noises that can reach 190 dB peak at the ear and continues noises in close proximity to jet engine can exceed up to 130 dBA. Exposure to such high-level noises present a serious threat of noise induced hearing loss, however even moderate noises cause damage. Noises that reach 150-165 dBA, cased for example by rifles, are still above acceptable noise exposure conditions. Military personnel are vulnerable to these noises often simultaneously, which corresponds to the main cause of hearing damage among military personnel.
Traditional hearing protection does not meet industry requirements
Traditionally soldiers have been forced to choose between situational awareness and proper hearing protection. Traditional hearing protection has taken the form of only foam earplugs, which limit the ability to hear especially soft sounds. Sensory perception is crucial for critical missions, which is why tactical hearing protection needs to meet the requirements of the mission.
Military Personnel have High Demand of Tactical Hearing Protection
Military personnel have a high demand for quality hearing protection for several reasons. Hearing loss is a disability that affects thousands of veterans globally. In 2012 in the US tinnitus affected 115,638 veterans while hearing loss affected 69,326.
In addition to physical damage, soldier’s military career is threatened. Hearing loss can have a negative impact on a soldier's military career including restricting eligibility for future training, reclassification into another military occupation specialty, restrictions on job duties, or separation from the military entirely.
Proper tactical hearing protection will not only protect from physical damages but could also protect a soldier’s military career.
The requirement for hearing protection against impulse noise has long been recognized by military, but military professionals are struggling to find the right technology. There is a balance between protecting the ear from damage versus the potential vulnerability that in-ear protection causes such a loss of sensory perception.
The new SAVOX Noise-COM 200 Tactical Hearing Protection Headset has been designed to protect military professionals hearing without compromising situational awareness.