This Memorial Day, we honor those service members who have died in military service in the United States. The day was originally called Decoration Day, so named for the tradition of decorating graves with wreaths, flowers, and flags commemorating those who have passed on. While the day was widely observed after the Civil War, and again after World War ll, it did not become an official federal holiday until 1971. The passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971 established Memorial Day as a federal holiday to be held on the last Monday of May each year.
As hearing and balance care professionals, audiologists and clinicians have a longstanding history of working with Veterans experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, and other difficulties sustained during military service. Studies continue to be conducted with both Veterans and service members to evaluate the correlation between hearing loss and military activity (Lewis et al, 2022). In addition to hearing challenges, some veterans suffer from head injuries and blast exposure, as well as emotional and mental health and sleep disorders. Audiologists working in a VA setting see a variety of patients from all ages and this population still requires further study an investment to continue to provide exceptional care.
The Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) announced on April 6, 2023, proclaimed a call for the Hearing Restoration Research Program for fiscal year 2023, to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission. Interested researchers can review the guidelines and suggested focus areas here.
Lewis MS, Reavis KM, Griest S, Carlson KF, Gordon J, Henry JA. (2022) The influence of tinnitus and hearing loss on the functional status of military service members and veterans. Int J Audiol 62(1): 44–52.
Papesh MA, Fowler L, Pesa SR, Frederick MT. (2023) Functional hearing difficulties in veterans: retrospective chart review of auditory processing assessments in the VA health care system. Am J Audiol 32(1): 101–18.
PBS. (2023) History of Memorial Day (accessed May 4, 2023).
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