Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is a permanent type of hearing loss that is caused by exposure to excessive noise over a prolonged period of time. It can also result from being exposed to loud noise during a short period of time, such as a loud explosion. If you have worked in or around noise you may have suffered hearing loss. Loud exposure to noise will cause damage to the hair cells in the cochlea which results in noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). This has been the case for many people working in noisy employments, who were not provided with adequate protection.
Many people notice symptoms of hearing loss but would usually think the problems are caused by age or as our clients usually describe as expected ‘wear and tear’. If you have been exposed to noise during your employment and you are experiencing the symptoms associated with the condition, then you may be entitled to seek compensation from your employers (ex-employers), even if the Company is closed down.
Noise at work, usually causes difficulty to a person when listening to higher frequencies. It is therefore difficult for a person to hear when there is background noise. For instance when you are in a pub or a restaurant, or driving in a car, it is very hard for a person with noise induced hearing loss to pick up on a conversation.
As with any type of hearing loss people often complain of the symptoms set out below:
- Struggling to hear people when they are talking to you, especially when there is background noise.
- Inability to hear high-pitched sounds, distorted or muffled sounds, and ringing in the ears (known as tinnitus).
- Having to ask people to speak up or regularly missing conversations.
- Having to turn up the TV louder than what most people would find normal.
- Not picking up full sentences and parts of words when people are speaking.
- Struggling to hear people on the telephone.
- Missing the doorbell ringing.
- Being told you are shouting when you think you are talking normal.
How can noise damage my hearing?
- Loud noise is collected by the ear from sound waves which travel down the ear towards the eardrum. If the sound is loud enough it can disrupt the delicate hearing system.
- Loud noise passes through the middle ear and to the inner ear known as the cochlea. The tiny hair cells coating this fluid-filled chamber can be damaged as the loud sound reaches the cochlea.
- Extreme brief sounds such as an explosion, can damage hair cells as well as continuous and/or repeated exposure to high levels of noise.
- Once the hair cells are damaged, there is no treatment to bring them back!
If you have tinnitus or hearing loss and been exposed to noise then contact us today and we will help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How can i tell I was exposed to excessive levels of noise?
- Were you raising your voice level or shouting to communicate with someone?
- Were you not able to hear another colleague who was around 1 meter away from you?
- Was speech or sounds muffled or dull after you finished a noisy days’ work?
- Did you or are you suffering from Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing noises)?
- Were you operating or surrounded by excessively noisy machinery such as, e.g. jack hammers / Kango drills, pneumatic air chisels etc.
Many people suffer in silence and only seek medical attention after years of denying there is a problem. Noise induced hearing loss is permanent and there is no cure. Depending on the degree of your hearing loss, you may benefit from the use of hearing aids. These can be provided under the NHS or bought privately.
In most cases you will attend your GP or a private clinic about your hearing problems and then be referred to see an audiologist. WE CAN ARRANGE A FREE HEARING TEST to be performed. After the hearing test you will be shown the results and thereafter may be sent to see an ENT Specialist who will discuss with you the possible causes of your hearing loss. The expert will discuss your work history and exposure to noise.
If your hearing loss is noise related then you can claim compensation and may be able to recover the reasonable costs of purchasing private hearing aids which we will discuss with you
How much Compensation can I claim?
All personal injury compensation depends on all or some of the following considerations:
- The severity of the injury
- The presence and degree of the injury
- Affects of the injury to your day-to-day living
- Severity and how long the symptoms will last
- Age and life expectancy
You may be entitled to compensation if you were exposed to excessive noise at work. There is no fixed amount on any personal injury claim for how much compensation you will receive however, we will do everything we can to recover the maximum compensation for you. We have set out the range of compensation that may be awarded below (approx):
- Total deafness: £69,000 to £91,000
- Total Hearing loss in one ear:£23,000 to £38,000
- Severe tinnitus with hearing loss: £23,000 to £36,000
- Moderate tinnitus with hearing loss: £11,000 to £24,000
- Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss £9000 to £12,000
- Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight hearing loss £5000 to £10,000
- Slight hearing loss Up to £5800
What to do next?
We work on a no win no fee basis and for further information, contact our team of specialist solicitors at Stanworth Law Solicitors to find out if you have suffered from hearing loss caused by noise. We will advise you so that you are compensated fairly for noise damage, it is only what you deserve!