Many British veterans have returned from Afghanistan with severe and permanent hearing damage due to the intense noise exposure in combat.
Roadside bombs in Afghanistan, intense close combat clashes with the Taliban and aircraft bombing are extremely dangerous activities. Besides endangering lives, they also cause burst eardrums, tinnitus and in some cases total deafness.
Almost one in ten British soldiers suffers from such a degree of hearing loss that they become unable to come back to the frontline. Their prospects of finding a civilian job are also affected.
Claims and compensation
The British Ministry of Defense is facing an increased number of claims due to hearing damage, with more than a thousand hearing loss claims submitted over the past three years. Because of this dramatic situation, compensation ranges are set to increase for all cases, ranging from injuries with minimal or no sensorial hearing loss to total deafness.
Ear protection campaign
Ear protection is issued for the British troops but the British Force safety regulations against noise induced hearing loss made the use of hearing protection mandatory only in helicopters. In light of increased concern, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, has set in motion a campaign to improve ear protection and raise awareness of its important role for the British Army hearing health.
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