VETERANS across the Keighley district living with hearing loss are being urged to come forward.

The Royal British Legion says life-changing issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and limb loss are widely recognised as results of warfare.

But the charity says relatively little attention has been given to ex-service personnel who suffer from hearing problems, or the support available to them.

To coincide with Deaf Awareness Week, the Legion is encouraging anyone affected to get in touch.

An estimated 300,000 ex-service personnel are living with hearing loss.

And those who have served in more modern-day conflicts are thought to be at greater risk.

Audiometric tests on infantry troops returning from Afghanistan indicated that up to 14 per cent were affected.

Steven Baynes, the Legion’s head of grants and social policy, said: “Many of us take our ability to communicate with others for granted, however it’s vital to so many aspects of a healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

“Hearing loss is one of the ‘hidden injuries’ of conflict which is often forgotten about, and consequently many veterans don’t seek support.

“I would urge anyone affected by a service-related hearing problem, however big or small, to contact the Legion for help.”

The charity produced a report, Lost Voices, examining the issue.

As a result, £10 million of LIBOR cash was provided to set-up a special fund which offers grants for pioneering treatment and state-of-the-art hearing aids for veterans who developed hearing loss during service.

Since its launch in 2015, the fund has received over 1,700 applications for support, but the Legion is keen for more people to utilise it.

Among those who have benefited is former marine Harris Tatakis.

He suffered extensive injuries, including tinnitus, in 2007 when his Land Rover drove over an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan.

Pioneering treatment, funded by the Legion, was provided.

“It’s fair to say that the treatment – and indeed the Legion – have given me my life back,” he said.

For more details about the support available, visit