The impact of work-related hearing loss

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Disability

If you work in a noisy environment, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with long-term exposure to high decibel levels. Prolonged exposure can lead to work-related hearing loss. It’s not just construction workers or factory employees who are at risk. Many professions expose workers to damaging noise levels.

Work-related hearing loss usually doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a gradual process. Loud machinery, constant background noise or even short bursts of deafening sounds can contribute to hearing impairment over time. The damage typically starts with difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds and can progress to more comprehensive hearing loss if not addressed.

Minimizing risks

Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment, which includes minimizing noise exposure. If you’re at risk, your employer should provide appropriate hearing protection. This could be in the form of earplugs, earmuffs or other specialized equipment designed to preserve your hearing.

Early intervention can make all the difference in managing and potentially reversing some forms of work-related hearing loss. If you notice a ringing or buzzing in the ears, or if you find you have to turn up the volume on devices higher than before, it’s time to consult a healthcare provider.

Medical evaluations and claims

Once you suspect that you’re experiencing hearing loss due to your work environment, you may need a medical evaluation to confirm it. Doctors will typically conduct an audiogram, a test that measures your ability to hear sounds at different volumes and pitches. Your healthcare provider can then advise you on the next steps. 

Disability benefits could help cover the expenses related to the work-related hearing loss. Be prepared to fight for the benefits you’re due. Having someone on your side who can assist you with this process might reduce your stress.