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By John Gomez | Royalty-free stock photo ID: 496597909

3M Military Earplugs May Cause Hearing Loss & Tinnitus


he US military no longer issues the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) which were products manufactured by 3M Company. It was found that the earplugs didn’t provide full protection of the ear canal and as a result, could cause an increased risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.

These earplugs were given to soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015. Anyone who was enlisted during these 12 years, was issued the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs and is suffering from hearing damage may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation.

Side Effects Of Defective 3M Earplugs

Hearing damage is the number one disability found among US Veterans. Ear protection such as 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs are supposed to protect our troops from damaging levels of noise, but these products failed to perform. It is because of these defective devices that our troops are now suffering from symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus.

In order to successfully file a lawsuit claiming that 3M knowingly manufactured and sold ineffective earplugs, it is important to know the health problems associated with these earplugs.

3M Combat Arms Earplugs May Cause Hearing Loss

The number one disability among military personnel and veterans is hearing loss. This is because soldiers are exposed to extremely loud sounds such as gunfire, explosions, and machinery. The use of ear protection can help prevent hearing damage but there is still a high chance of damage to the ear canals.

Hearing loss can be permanent for some veterans and most end up having to get hearing aids. In some cases, conductive hearing loss can be treated with medication or surgery. Conductive hearing loss is characterized by damages to the eardrum and middle structures of the ear.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Veterans suffering from hearing loss begin to notice their hearing fading away slowly. As people speak, it will become increasingly difficult to hear what they say and it may seem like people are just mumbling to them. Hearing loss can be classified by different levels:

  • Mild hearing loss is when it is difficult to catch every word in a conversation.
  • Moderate hearing loss is when people must constantly repeat themselves in a conversation.
  • Severe hearing loss is when it is almost impossible to have a conversation without a hearing aid.
  • Profound hearing loss is when people’s speech can’t be heard unless they yell loudly. A hearing aid or cochlear implant is needed to hear.

3M Combat Arms Earplugs May Cause Tinnitus

This symptom is linked to hearing loss and is known as the perception of sound when there is actually no noise. Tinnitus is commonly called “ringing in the ears,” and includes many different sounds such as:




Tinnitus is one of the most common health conditions in America, affecting millions of people. Many US Veterans experience tinnitus as a result of their hearing loss. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, about 50 million Americans suffer from some type of form of Tinnitus. There are two types of tinnitus:

      Subjective Tinnitus - This is when only the sufferer can hear the sounds. This is the most common type of tinnitus and is caused by neurological and auditory reactions to hearing loss.
      Objective Tinnitus - This is when the sounds can be heard by both the sufferer and other people. This is less common and is caused by blood flow issues and somatic systems

How Can Troops Prevent Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

As it is common for military personnel to experience hearing damage, it is essential that the proper prevention methods are taken. Some hearing protective devices include:

  • Earmuffs: These block out sound by creating an airtight barrier around the entire ear. 
  • Earplugs: These can be effective if worn correctly and are created by trusted manufacturers.
  • Noise-Attenuating Helmets: These helmets provide protection for the ears and the eyes. Military helmets today are technologically advance to suppress unwanted noise and allow verbal communication to still be possible. 
  • Suppressors: While the main purpose of this device is for tactical advantages, they still reduce the noise of gunfire and decrease the threat of hearing damage.

Should You File A Lawsuit?

Military personnel who answer yes to the following questions may be eligible for compensation:

  1. Have you served in the military between 2003 and 2015?
  2. Have you been issued 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs?
  3. Have you experienced hearing damage after your time in the military?

Don’t hesitate to call KBA Attorneys today to speak with an experienced Veterans Disability attorney and receive a free case evaluation. You have served and protected our country, now let us do the same for you.