If you’re a veteran, or know someone who has served in the military, the likelihood is you’ll know someone with tinnitus.
Oto’s co-founders both spent time in the military as doctors and saw first-hand the effect tinnitus could have on both veterans and those currently serving.
We’re partnering with the UK Veterans Hearing Foundation to provide support for tinnitus in veterans.
Their funding will allow any veteran to access the digital tinnitus therapy programme provided by Oto’s app.
Tinnitus in veterans
Tinnitus is very common in veterans because of the high likelihood of noise exposure in their role.
As you might imagine soldiers, sailors and airmen may be frequently exposed to loud noises, which is a common cause of tinnitus.
These noises could include:
- Ship engine rooms
- Aircraft engines
Although hearing protection is now routinely used, in the past this was either inadequate or not provided.
How many veterans have tinnitus?
Although we don’t know exactly how many veterans have tinnitus, we do know that there are approximately 300,000 living with hearing loss.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are conditions that are very closely linked, and it is estimated that around 30% of people with hearing loss have tinnitus.
In a study undertaken by the British Tinnitus Association and the University of Nottingham, it was found that over half of older veterans had lived with tinnitus for over 20 years.
They also found that they had experienced severer tinnitus than non-veterans, and were reluctant to seek help because they did not believe that anything could be done.
Circumstances are similar in the US.
Tinnitus is the number 1 disability in US veterans, with over 1 million veterans receiving tinnitus compensation.
Why we’re supporting veterans
Oto was founded by ex-military doctors and tinnitus sufferers Edmund Farrar and George Leidig.
During their time in the RAF and Royal Navy respectively, they saw first-hand the frustration and struggles that tinnitus could cause.
Some of their patients were waiting months for professional help, and tinnitus just didn’t seem to be taken as seriously as other conditions.
We are therefore hugely proud to be able to support veterans with tinnitus in partnership with the UK Veterans Hearing Foundation.
The UK Veterans Hearing Foundation
The UK Veterans Hearing Foundation is a charity that helps UK veterans from all backgrounds access hearing and tinnitus support.
They fund hearing aids and tinnitus services for veterans, alongside support for the mental health issues that may have been caused by their military service.
They were founded by an audiologist whose husband was diagnosed with hearing loss at 57 after 13 years of service in the Royal Artillery.
They receive funding from multiple sources to ensure veterans get the treatments they need, regardless of age, ethnicity or gender.
Getting tinnitus treatment for veterans
Our mobile app allows instant access to a digital tinnitus therapy programme.
The UK Veterans Hearing Foundation are funding Oto’s digital tinnitus treatment for veterans.
If you’re a veteran with tinnitus you’ll be able to try Oto completely free for an extended month long trial.
If you find it beneficial, the UK Veterans Hearing Foundation will fund full access for 1 year.
You can visit their website for more details.