Hearing problems as a result of working in environments with high levels of noise are a common problem. Almost 250,000 British workers are currently believed to suffer with some kind of work induced hearing difficulties.
The most common work related hearing issues are tinnitus and industrial deafness. These industrial conditions may develop individually or in combination with one another.
Cause and severity
Caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise levels, tinnitus and industrial deafness can both vary in severity. Tinnitus sufferers may experience anything from quiet tingling sounds to loud, constant droning. Occupational deafness can range from temporary or slight loss of hearing to permanent and/or complete hearing loss.
Sudden loud noises
Acoustic shock, or acoustic trauma, can occur when someone is subjected to a sudden, extremely loud noise or series of noises at close proximity. Accidents at work involving explosions or feedback in call-centre staff earpieces, for example, can cause damage to sensitive inner ear structures, in particular the eardrum, that can result in temporary hearing loss or permanent occupational deafness, in the case of a perforated eardrum.
Digital hearing aids make it possible to tailor hearing aids accurately to match the individual requirements of a person affected by industrial deafness. They also have beneficial effects on people suffering from work induced tinnitus. The best options current available for treating industrial hearing loss, especially when coupled with tinnitus, are open-fit and combination hearing aids.
Open-fit hearing aids
Open-fit technology uses very fine tubes or speakers that are placed into the ear canal in order to deliver sound. Allowing amplification without desired external sounds being blocked out, open-fit hearing devices also do not create the occlusion effects often experienced with other types of hearing aids.
Occlusion is the creation of resonance within the ear canal, which can result in hollow hearing, a sensation often compared to having your head inside a barrel when speaking.
These devices use sound generators said to assist tinnitus sufferers in getting used to the sounds created by this occupational hearing condition.
What to do if you are affected
If you require a digital hearing aid because you were exposed to prolonged excessive noise at work or because a work accident caused acoustic trauma in one or both of your ears, you may be entitled to work injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline advisory staff can confirm your entitlement to claim and offer you the services of our experienced, highly skilled in-house injury solicitors. Call our Freephone number now on 0800 689 0500 to learn more.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice