Military Service and Hearing Health

The Noise Outcomes in Service members Epidemiology (NOISE) Study explores relationships between military and nonmilitary exposures and auditory dysfunction in military Service members and Veterans.

The Noise Outcomes in Service members Epidemiology (NOISE) study is an ongoing epidemiological study of hearing health in U.S. military Service members and Veterans. The study captures extensive longitudinal data on noise exposure, ototoxicants, blasts, and other hazards associated with military service and examines their relationships with immediate and long-term hearing health outcomes including hearing loss and tinnitus. This research aims to better inform efforts to prevent and treat auditory dysfunction in those who have dedicated themselves to military service.


The NOISE study is a joint effort between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense (DoD). The study is based the VA Rehabilitation Research & Development (RR&D) National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) in Portland, Oregon, with a second site at the DoD Hearing Center of Excellence in San Antonio, Texas. Funding sources include DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs and VA RR&D.


The study was designed and implemented by a team of audiologists, epidemiologists, and statisticians in response to a call for research on long-term effects of ototoxic exposures in Service members and Veterans. Data collection began in 2014, and participant enrollment and follow-up data collection are ongoing. Study data includes a comprehensive audiological evaluation at 5-year intervals and annual questionnaires on military service, exposure to noise, ototoxic chemicals, and blasts, auditory health (hearing and tinnitus), and physical and mental health.






Research Findings

The NOISE Study has produced 16 publications (13 in peer reviewed journals).

NOISE Publications List


NOISE Study Longitudinal
NOISE Study: Past and Future

Since the NOISE study began collecting data in 2014, the study has reached  important milestones in funding, data collection, and research findings.

Study Milestones