Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Prevalence of Hearing Issues

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The American Journal of Industrial Medicine recently published a study, which examined the incidence of hearing loss and tinnitus among workers who are regularly exposed to occupational noise. The study was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and is the first to provide prevalence estimates for tinnitus by U.S. industry sector and occupation, as well as comparing these estimates to prevalence estimates of hearing loss.

Exposure to occupational noise over time can lead to hearing loss, which can have a negative impact on work, personal and professional relationships, and overall quality of life. According to NIOSH Director, John Howard, M.D., the study provides a better understanding of who is most affected by hazardous noise and what strategies can be implemented to prevent exposure to noise that contributes to hearing issues.

Tinnitus, one of the most common conditions related to occupational noise exposure, is often described as “ringing in the ears.” Sufferers of tinnitus perceive sound in one or both ears even though there is nothing causing the sound to occur. Tinnitus often occurs in conjunction with hearing loss. Dr. Howard cautioned that dangerous levels of occupational and environment noise exposure must be avoided in order to prevent this kind of hearing damage.

Researchers noted key findings from a 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which examined hearing difficulty, tinnitus and exposure to occupational noise. Data looked at hearing conditions among workers with and without noise exposure and at various industries and occupations.

  • Workers with no occupational noise exposure:
    – Seven percent had hearing difficulty
    – Five percent had tinnitus
    – Two percent had both
  • Workers with exposure to occupational noise:
    – Twenty-three percent had hearing difficulty
    – Fifteen percent had tinnitus
    – Nine percent had both

The study shows that the incidence of hearing loss and tinnitus is relatively high in the U.S, but particularly in workers who are exposed to hazardous levels of noise. These problems can lead to impaired communication, feelings of isolation, fatigue, frustration and depression. Tinnitus can impact sleep and concentration, as well as increase the risk of accidents on the job. Awareness of these problems and the industries that have the highest incidence of employees with impaired hearing will help create innovative strategies for protecting workers’ hearing and ultimately their quality of life.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Leviness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers with Impaired Hearing

If you have experienced hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of occupational noise exposure, contact Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton so that we may thoroughly examine the details of your case and pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.