27 September 2022

NOISE Study Team Awarded for Outstanding Research by the Military Health System

The Military Health System awarded the Noise Outcomes in Service Members Epidemiology (NOISE) study team the Outstanding Research Accomplishment Award during the 2022 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) on 12 SEP 2022. The team, led by Principal Investigator James Henry, PhD, and comprised of both Geneva researchers and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) researchers, was recognized for their significant achievements in auditory rehabilitation research over the past year.

The NOISE study is an ongoing longitudinal, epidemiologic study on hearing health that began as a joint effort by the VA Rehabilitation Research & Development (RR&D) National Center for Rehabilitative and Auditory Research (NCRAR) and the Department of Defense (DoD) Hearing Center of Excellence (HCE). Geneva proudly supports this program through the HCE at Lackland Airforce Base and Naval Medical Center San Diego.

infographic depicting data from NOISE studyThe NOISE study has been collecting data since 2014, has enrolled over 1,000 active-duty service members and veterans, and explores how their military and non-military exposures affect hearing loss and tinnitus over their lifetimes. The study examines lifetime exposure to noise, chemicals, blasts, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), physical and psychiatric comorbidities, and other exposures that can affect hearing and tinnitus.

Participants in the study complete a comprehensive in-person audiologic examination including specialized testing for those who experience tinnitus. They complete extensive questionnaires annually and a repeat in-person exam is conducted every five years.

The study has published 15 publications with the most recent publication in July 2022 finding the “presence of tinnitus, tinnitus severity, average low-frequency hearing thresholds, and subjective hearing difficulties were significantly associated with decreased functional status in Service members and Veterans.”

Additional notable results from the NOISE study include:

  1. The prevalence of tinnitus in study participants is about 53%
  2. Those that are higher in age, have more years of military service, more noise exposure to blasts and/or TBI have a greater prevalence of both hearing loss and tinnitus
  3. Those that serve in the Army have a greater prevalence to tinnitus relative to other military branches

These findings are crucial to the ongoing efforts to refine future military hearing conservation efforts and the work being done to develop ongoing treatments.

Read more about the HCE and how Geneva supports this research program.


Disclaimer: The views expressed do not reflect the official policy of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.