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Work-Related Hearing Loss

Hearing LossOne of the most overlooked and forgotten injuries that happen everyday in California workplaces is hearing loss. It often goes unnoticed, as the damage caused by loud machinery generally occurs very slowing, taking years or decades to fully reveal itself. But as anyone with serious hearing loss knows, the damage can be detrimental to one’s working ability, social and home life, and hobbies. Hearing loss is a serious condition and one for which you should seek compensation. You may be entitled to recover some of the costs associated with hearing loss, such as medical bills, vocational training if you need to find a new job, and future wages if you have developed severe hearing loss and have an inability to find work suitable to your skills and age. If you have suffered from hearing loss due to your occupation, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney for immediate assistance.

The Types of Hearing Loss and How They are Caused

Hearing loss can eventually become partial or complete deafness, along with constant ringing in the ears. It is a serious detriment to the quality of one’s life. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are symptoms of hearing loss. Again, many people are unaware of their hearing loss, as it is usually a very gradual condition that goes unnoticed, which is why taking the time to look at the symptoms and fully analyze your hearing ability is often necessary if you have doubts:

  • Sounds and the speech of others are muffled or muted;
  • Difficulty hearing consonants;
  • Inability to follow conversations or understand words, especially in a crowded room;
  • Constantly asking others to speak up or saying “what?”;
  • Turning the volume up on the TV; and
  • Avoiding social settings and removing oneself from conversations.

If you have any questions about the quality of your hearing, you can talk with your doctor about setting up a simple hearing test to determine the amount of hearing that you have lost.

The ear is a very sensitive instrument. The delicate eardrum and small bones of the middle ear receive the vibrations of sound and amplify them, passing the vibrations through the fluid of the inner ear: the cochlea. Within the cochlea are thousands of minute hairs, which “convert” those sounds to electrical signals, telling your brain that sound is occurring. Each sound vibrates those hairs in a different way, which is why not everything sounds the same to your brain. The gentle tapping of a wine glass with a butter knife to initiate a speech at a dinner party causes the hairs of the cochlea to vibrate in a much different manner than the deafening blast of a semi-truck’s engine brakes. When hearing loss occurs on the job, it is generally due to conductive damage, meaning that the inner ear or eardrum (middle ear) is damaged. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the maximum safe noise exposure is an average of 85 decibels over a period of eight hours, and hearing protection is needed if the noise exceeds this limit.

Can We Help You?

If you suffer from hearing loss that occurred as a result of the environment in which you work, you may have options. Contact an experienced workplace injury attorney in San Jose to learn about the best way to approach your case. Call Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. at (408) 289-1417 today for a confidential consultation regarding your case.

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