One of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. is hearing loss caused by noise. This kind of hearing loss is called noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL.
Either a lot of noise or exposure to noise at lower levels can cause NHIL. The sound waves damage the hair cells in the inner ear, which causes hearing loss over time.
- The most common kind of NIHL is the one that comes from hearing loud sounds. NIHL can happen all at once or slowly get worse over time.
- Loud noises often cause NIHL at work, but loud noises can also cause it at concerts, sporting events, or personal audio equipment like headphones.
- Occupational hearing loss is more likely to happen to people who work in noisy places like factories, construction sites, and airports.
- Noise can cause hearing los, but earplugs and earmuffs can help protect your hearing. It is essential to wear ear protection in noisy places and make sure it fits well.
Noise at work can lead to hearing loss.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says that workers who hear sounds at or above 85 decibels (dB) for eight hours a day are at risk for NIHL (NIOSH).
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that around 22 million people in the United States get subjected to potentially harmful noise levels. Each year, worker’s compensation for hearing loss costs about $242 million.
Common signs of NIHL
The hearing loss brought on by exposure to loud noises is so prevalent in our culture that most individuals don’t even recognize they have it until it’s too late.
Noise-related hearing loss shows up in five different ways:
Tinnitus is a disorder in which a person hears sounds in their ears or brain even when no external sounds are present. Several different factors can cause tinnitus. The sound, which may be described as ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, or clicking, may be continuous or start and stop. In their lives, approximately one-fifth of people will experience tinnitus at some point.
- In surroundings with a lot of background noise, it might get challenging to hear and understand the questions getting asked in a conversation.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about half of the people who work in environments with background noise have difficulty following conversations. This number goes up to almost 80 percent when the noise level reaches 100 decibels.
Several things make it hard to understand speech in noisy places. Here are just a few:
-How loud it is – What kind of noise it is – How the person is feeling – What kind of safety gear is worn
- An ear that feels full or has pressure on it
A common sign of NIHL is feeling like your ears are full or pressed. Some hear ringing, buzzing, or roaring. These symptoms require medical attention. Further, noise-canceling earplugs can prevent NIHL.
- Have a lot of ear infections
Most ear infections get better on their own after a few days, but some can cause more severe problems, like hearing los.
- Loss of some or all hearing
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time. It is not a disease but rather a condition that occurs when the delicate parts of the ear are hurt. Loss of hearing can hurt one or both ears. Hearing loss can look and pull in different ways for different people.
Noise, getting older, can cause hearing loss genetics, infections, and head or ear injuries. Hearing loss at work has become more common in the last few years. It’s also important to know that you can still ask for worker’s compensation if your general hearing problem gets worse because of where you work.
How to File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?
If injured, file a workers’ compensation claim. A claim is a complex business, but we’ll attempt to make things simple.
First, you’ll need to find out some details about your injury. Date, time, and type of damage get listed. You should have employer and witness information. Once you have this information, you can start the claim submission process. It can be done online or through the mail. It can be done online or through the mail. Ensure to include everything, and if you need help, you can talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer.
If you lost your hearing at work, you should know about any other possible injuries. Visit the Pacific Attorney Group or call us at (916) 827-3686 to learn more about hearing loss and damages caused by work.