Navy veteran Mark Alland came to us due to his struggles with tinnitus and severe hearing loss. Mark served from 1979- 2003 as an aircraft engineer, working on flight decks, hangars and airfields. Even though ear defenders were provided and worn, the harsh background noise permanently damaged his hearing, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus.
What Mark has to say
“At home, I have to have the TV and radio turned up louder than my family, sometimes to a level that hurts their ears. During phone calls, I have the volume up high, so others can hear both sides of the conversation. People complain I talk loudly, although this is done so I can hear what is said. In noisy environments or rooms that echo, I cannot hear what is said, so I tend to withdraw from the conversation as I get frustrated both with myself and the other speakers. At times I miss what is said and have to ask for it to be repeated, the more frequently this happens, the more frustrated the speakers become, so I tend to not ask for things to be repeated. I don’t always hear when people are speaking to me even when they are next to me, and they think I am ignoring them.
The one word that comes to mind is isolated.
I have a continuous high-pitched whine which can vary in pitch and volume, wearing my hearing aids to a low volume. At times, especially in the morning, it can make me feel disoriented and sick.“
Most veterans suffer from hearing conditions too complex for NHS hearing aids and require more complex technology. Due to this, we have provided Mark with top-of-the-range hearing aids. These hearing aids will make it easier for him to hear in crowds and groups, allowing him to join in conversations with ease. They will also help with Mark’s battle with tinnitus, making it more bearable in day-to-day life.
The UK Veterans Hearing Foundation would like to show gratitude to the Veterans Foundation (Veterans Lottery) for exceptional funding that has allowed us to improve Mark’s life.