Are You a Veteran with Tinnitus Due to Defective Earplugs?

Some of the earplugs used by the military have turned out to be defective and didn’t provide the protection they promised. One specific earplug was the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2, or CAEv2. This defect has lead to serious hearing impairment, tinnitus, and even hearing loss in those to whom they were issued.

The issue with these dual-ended earplugs was that a fault in their design lead to the seal breaking meaning the plugs would imperceptibly loosen and allow sound through. Thousands of service members were issued and used these earplugs between the ears of 2003 and 2015 exposing them to the associated risks. 

3M paid a $9.1 million settlement in July of 2018 to the DOJ in a whistleblower earplug defects lawsuit. The suit alleged 3M officials were aware of earplug defects as far back as 2000. The company falsified test results and then knowingly sold millions of pairs of defective earplugs to the U.S. Department of Defense. For more than a decade beginning in 2003, 3M continued to sell earplugs they knew were defective to the DOD. By 2015, when the U.S. military stopped using 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs, more than 1 million veterans were receiving benefits for hearing loss; over 1.4 million more veterans suffered from tinnitus possibly due to the defective earplugs.

The 3M recall cost the U.S. nearly $100 million dollars. The manufacturing defect was likely caused by silica gel materials, meant to help keep the earplugs warm during use. Silica gel is a mineral used in adhesives, sealants, and catalysts. Instead of being used in earplugs, it was placed in an unapproved, unconsented place — the ear. In a well-planned and executed criminal investigation, it took the FBI years to prove the company knew about the problem yet knowingly misled federal and state regulators and the public.

Defective Earplugs and their Effects on Veterans

Are you a Veteran with Hearing Loss?

Any member of the Armed Forces issued defective earplugs may be entitled to compensation through the VA. If you served during the years that the 3M earplugs were in use then you should contact an attorney who has experience in handling hearing loss or tinnitus. Your hearing issues may be due to the lies told by the corporation that manufactured them.

Whatever question you may have, we are here to answer them and help you find the treatments and compensation you deserve. We know what it takes to see these cases through and what types of treatment you should seek.

If you are suffering hearing loss and you served in our military at any time during the years of 2003 through 2015 then call us for help in finding proper compensation for your claim. It is important to contact us as soon as possible as there are timelines that must be adhered to when filing a lawsuit of this type. 

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy or TRT involves audio therapy coupled with counseling to improve the patient’s awareness of tinnitus and psychological well-being. Sometimes the therapy involves using medications alongside therapy to improve a patient’s quality of life.

Home treatment options also exist. You can take the following treatments in your home, usually over a period of time. This isn’t a recommendation that you “avoid tinnitus” since that’s not really an option. More, you may need to consider a lifestyle change. Perhaps you should try stopping drinking or change what you eat to help control your tinnitus. Remember, as you begin to feel better, you will become less aware of tinnitus.

Other ways you might try to work to reduce your tinnitus are:

  • Meditate
  • Relax
  • Take a long, hot bath
  • Practice good sleep hygiene
  • Aural physical therapy
  • Try hearing aids
  • Do relaxation training

More invasive treatments exist to assist with tinnitus as well.  One such treatment that you may consider is acupuncture on the ears. Some studies have shown a significant decrease in hearing impairment with continued treatment.

Denied Benefits from the VA?

Did the VA deny you the benefits you are entitled to? If so you must file your appeal as quickly as possible. There is a limited time to submit the required evidence and the VA is strict timelines and requirements they adhere to.

Are you one of the thousands of Veteran’s Claims that have been denied by the VA? Have you received a decision that is lower than you expected? As a Veteran who has served your country, YOU should receive Disability Benefits.

If you were injured and haven’t received the VA benefits you deserve, please call Chad Barr Law today at (407) 599-9036 and discuss your case with an experienced Orlando Veterans Benefits Attorney, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

Florida Veterans Benefits Law