Understanding what leads to hearing loss is key to knowing how to make a successful compensation claim.
Sound waves vary in peak pressure variation and in frequency – or the number of cycles per second of a sound wave. Loss of the ability to detect some frequencies, or to detect low-pressure sounds are common examples of deafness causes.
Those suffering impaired hearing can detect some of the lower frequency ranges (low tones), but cannot hear as well or at all in the higher frequencies.
Severe hearing damage is categorised according to how much louder a sound must be above the usual levels before detection. In profound deafness, even the loudest sounds that can be produced, may not be detected.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is due to insensitivity of the inner ear, the cochlea, or to impairment of function in the auditory nervous system. It can produce mild, moderate, severe, or profound impaired hearing to the point of total deafness.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that noise induced hearing loss is most associated with aptly named industrial deafness. A medical diagnosis will show if hearing damage is the result of long-term exposure to environmental noise, although other causes can be genetic or through disease and illnesses such as measles, mumps and meningitis or autoimmune conditions.
It is critical to determine exactly the cause of impaired hearing as a claim for compensation cannot be made for naturally occurring ear diseases or a degenerative, age related condition.
First signs of a possible hearing loss could be failing to hear the doorbell, always turning up the volume on the TV or asking for words or sentence to be repeated or misunderstanding what has been said.
However, you may not immediately realise that you could have a hearing problem, which may actually be more serious than first thought. The first question to always ask yourself is if you spent significant periods of your working life either in a noisy workshop, industrial unit, or factory or daily handled noisy equipment. Very possibly, the wearing of ear defenders may not have been adequate over the long term.