Safety for ears & eyes: understanding and preventing hearing and vision loss View safety for ears & eyes infographic

The Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) mission is to lead and advocate for programs and initiatives to improve vision health, optimize readiness and enhance quality of life for Service members and Veterans.

The VCE is charged with leading research and treatment for improved vision care and eyesight restorative innovations for Service members. Working with TRICARE, the Military Health System (MHS), Veterans Health Administration and other Centers of Excellence, the VCE works to enhance collaboration between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) vision care providers, provide guidance for clinical practice, and facilitate patient-centered support.

Protect your Eyes and Ears
Injuries to your vision or hearing impact all aspects of life. Focus on what you can do to protect your eyes and ears this May for “Better Hearing & Speech” and “Healthy Vision” months. The Vision Center of Excellence partnered with the Hearing Center of Excellence to create resources to promote strong sensory health for May’s sensory health observances.

  • Need more information understand and prevent hearing and vision loss? Check out the new VCE & HCE infograph for a snapshot.
  • Proper protection can prevent eye and ear injuries.
  • Over 2.5 million eye injuries occur annually. Know how to respond when an eye injury happens.

Old Guard soldier taking a shot at EIB.

During the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) conflicts, eye injuries have accounted for approximately 15 percent of all battlefield traumas.

One slice of an MRI-type brain scan with various parts of the brain coded in different colors.

The DoD Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center notes the total number of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) visual disturbances was 37,376.

Two soldiers on a truck; one looking through binoculars and one looking through gun

In 2012, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts in Afghanistan caused 78 percent of all battle injuries. In Iraq, the same blasts caused 84 percent of all eye injuries.

Military eye professional giving exam to soildier.

The VA found that 2,593 enrolled Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) had disorders of the optic nerve and visual pathways related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Three service members standing next to each other, all wearing protective eyewear from the Approved Protective Eyewear list (APEL).

Serious combat eye trauma from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom was the second most common injury and trails only hearing loss.

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