Repeated exposure to loud noise for prolonged periods of time can damage the sensitive structures of the inner ear causing permanent hearing loss.
The most common types of damage are: –
- Noise induced hearing loss
- Acoustic Shock
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is caused by exposure to excessively loud noise, for example in the workplace, listening to loud music. It is one of the most common work-related health problems, however many suffers may not realise they have a problem because the symptoms can take years to develop.
Tinnitus is the sensation of ringing, buzzing, humming or whistling in the ears which can be caused by long term noise exposure.
Acoustic Shock is generally caused by a one-off episode of exposure to acute high intensity noise for example from gun fire, fireworks or an explosion.
Excessive noise can be a problem in many industries and is not confined to one particular sector. The following occupations have been found to be particularly at risk of noise induced hearing problems:
- Military Personnel
- Police Officers
- Factory Workers
- Construction Workers
- Heavy Industry Workers
- Entertainment Industry Professionals
Do you experience any of the following problems affecting your hearing?
- Your hearing is reduced or muffled
- You suffer with ringing or buzzing in your ears
- You have to turn the television volume up
- You struggle to hear conversation in groups or if there is background noise
- You often have to ask people to repeat themselves
- You have difficulty hearing when using the telephone
- You cannot hear the doorbell
If you do have any of these problems and have worked in noisy environments in the past, without adequate hearing protection, you may be suffering from noise induced hearing loss.
If you have a hearing problem, which you believe has been caused by exposure to noise at work, you may be entitled to compensation.