Noise-induced hearing loss

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Noise-induced hearing loss

We realise that serving in the armed forces is a dangerous career and unfortunately accidents and injuries can happen, but we also understand that the MoD has a responsibility to protect you when not in direct combat as military personnel and a duty of care to ensure you always receive suitable training and equipment.

So if you or a loved one has suffered through the negligence of the MoD while serving in the Armed Forces including the British Army, Royal Navy, or RAF whether on tour or not, you could be entitled to claim for compensation.

Through training to deployment, health can be affected by a number of causes. Noise-induced hearing loss (including tinnitus) is three and a half times more commonly occurring in veterans than the general population and can severely impact mental health.

If you have suffered hearing loss as a result of working in the military, we can help. We deal with all types of injury claims (including noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL) involving military personnel and have a good track record in securing settlements for our clients.

We can help you with your claim under the new Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and advise you on whether to pursue your claim in the civil courts under our 'no win no fee' specialist military legal advice scheme.

If you are unsure of your eligibility to make a military hearing loss claim for compensation, request a call back from a member of our team of military solicitors by filling in the online contact form at the top of this page. Alternatively you can contact us using the below details.

Contact our specialist team of military solicitors:

Speak directly to a military lawyer now using our FREEPHONE number 0800 046 2576 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm)




Claiming for noise-induced hearing loss

If you’ve served or currently serve in the military and suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of a failed duty of care by the Ministry of Defence, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Whilst avoidance, precaution and hearing protection measures are usually put in place,

Exposure to excessive noise is a likely occurrence in the military; this might be from explosions, vehicles, weapons or pyrotechnics. However the MoD has the responsibility to take precautions and put hearing protection measures in place, providing you with the relevant PPE to avoid possible hearing damage.

Following noise-induced hearing loss, there may be significant impacts on service, home life and post-service prospects. We will ensure that you receive the best possible compensation, taking into account every aspect of life which is affected.

Claims for NIHL are usually made up to three years after the injury occurred. During the initial stages of making a military claim, we will provide a free consultation to discuss the circumstances. Following this, we will investigate the extent of the injury and resulting losses.

Useful contacts

Veterans Gateway - 0808 802 1212

SSAFA – 0800 731 4880

Royal British Legion – 0808 802 8080

Help for Heroes - 01980 844280

Combat Stress - 0800 138 1619

Action on Hearing Loss - 0808 808 0123

Walking with the Wounded

Related resources

Talking about tinnitus: causes and effects

Common military injuries and how to avoid them

Returning to civilian life after a military injury

Military-related conditions to look out for

Military hearing loss compensation claims

What is NIHL?

NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss) is hearing damage and usually affects veterans. Damage can occur from exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels, being wrongly deployed, failure to provide relevant personal protective equipment and a delay in diagnosing the injury which could result in further and permanent damage.

NIHL or tinnitus can severely impact the combat performance of a soldier, and lead to serious consequences in later life especially if there is a delay in recognising the risk of military hearing loss. In some cases, you may even be medically discharged.

How is military deafness caused?

Military related hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is usually caused by repeated exposure to excessive noise levels and can be difficult to escape.

Hearing loss in the Armed Forces can be brought on by the noise levels from aircrafts, vehicle engines, explosions, pyrotechnics, gun fire and more. However hearing loss and tinnitus are not inevitable results of working in this industry.

It is the responsibility of the MoD to measure any risks, reduce/ control noise levels where possible and provide hearing protection where necessary.

How do you recognise military NIHL?

Because damage from noise exposure can be a gradual process, the condition might not be immediately obvious. Subtle changes may transpire over time, such as difficulty differentiating between background and foreground noise, reliance on louder volumes and lip-reading during conversations. Sounds may become distorted or muffled and phantom noises such as ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring and pulsing can arise.

Noise-induced hearing loss

What are the symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss?

The symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss can include:

  • Struggling to hear conversations from a reasonable distance
  • Ringing or buzzing in both ears (tinnitus)
  • Distorted sounds
  • Struggling to hear people speaking on the phone
  • Becoming withdrawn from social interactions
  • Listening to music/TV at a very high volume

If you suspect NIHL, you should make an appointment for a hearing test which can often determine any damage.

What are the long-term effects of military hearing damage?

Hearing damage is one of the less visible effects of warfare, so it often receives little attention. However military hearing conditions have debilitating long-term effects. As well as the physically irreversible effects of some hearing conditions, ongoing evidence indicates that hearing loss increases the risk of anxiety and doubles the risk of developing depression. Most sufferers of hearing damage report feeling isolated as a result.

What is the time limit for noise-induced hearing loss claims?

Claims for noise-induced hearing loss compensation can usually be made up to three years after the date of injury.

How can we help?

We have a dedicated team of experts who have a wealth of experience in dealing with the intricate and specialist issues that arise for many of our serving personnel and veterans.

If you’ve been injured whilst serving, whether on tour or not, if you are having to deal with the threat of a Court Martial, if you are experiencing problems in the workplace or if, sadly, your family is struggling with marital breakdown, we are here to help you through.

We are proud to offer a 10% discount on our legal fees to all military serving personnel as well as those that are members of the Defence Discount Scheme.

Please note, the information on this page is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor. Always consult with an appropriate professional for specific advice related to your situation.

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