TRBL Urges Veterans With Hearing Loss To Seek Assistance

A military charity is appealing for former service personnel who have suffered hearing loss to come forward, as part of Deaf Awareness Week. Government funding worth £10 million was made available in 2015, but the number of veterans who have applied for financial assistance is small. The Royal British Legion says those who have served in more recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan are most a risk, with as many as 14 per cent suffering from hearing loss. They say hearing loss can impact upon mental health and personal relationships. Research suggests veterans under the age of 75 are three-and-a-half times more likely than the general public to report hearing difficulties.

Out of 300,000 forces veterans living with hearing loss, as few as 1,800 have applied for financial assistance through the Legion’s Veterans Hearing Fund.

“What the fund provides is a higher quality type of equipment in comparison to what may be available on the NHS,” says Steven Baynes from the charity.

“While the NHS equipment quite often makes the surrounding noises louder, the equipment we are able to provide may be able to give multi-directional input, may be able to connect to your phone, to other peripherals, to your TV, just to really minimise the impact to your daily life.

“The most common type of hearing loss that our beneficiary group would suffer with is the standard noise-induced hearing loss. “Their hearing can be damaged just from prolonged exposure, or it could be a blast situation. “On top of that, there’s a number of other conditions – one of the most prevalent being tinnitus.” Forces Network Article and links