Deafness / Loss of Hearing

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Deafness / Loss of Hearing

Hearing impairment, or deafness, is a common condition when your hearing is affected by a disease, disorder or injury at work, injury through a road traffic accident or at a public place.

There are two main types of hearing loss:
  • Conductive hearing loss – sounds cannot pass from your outer ear to your inner ear due to a blockage such as earwax or a build-up of fluids
  • Sensorineural hearing loss – the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea or auditory nerve are damaged through ageing or injury.
Sometimes, both types of hearing loss may occur at the same time. This is known as mixed hearing loss.  Symptoms of deafness or hearing loss include:
  • Sudden, profound loss of hearing due to an infection
  • Sudden, profound loss of hearing due to a head or ear injury at work, public place or car accident
  • Hearing gradually worsens over long period of time due to natural aging
Some hearing-related conditions can have symptoms other than hearing loss. For example, tinnitus (please refer to our Tinnitus page for further details) is a condition where the hearing nerves in the cochlea (the coiled, spiral tube inside the inner ear) become damaged. This can cause symptoms such as:
  • continuous or intermittent ringing
  • hissing, whistling, roaring or buzzing noises
Causes of Deafness or Hearing Loss

Obviously age is the biggest cause of hearing loss but also there are other causes that can deafness, tinnitus, hearing loss, or acoustic shock syndrome.

Acoustic Shock Syndrome is damage to the ear from loud noises. This is also known as acoustic trauma and usually affects people working in call centres, working with noisy equipment, nightclub staff, or other jobs where headphones are in use. The loudness of the noise and the length of time that you are exposed to it are important factors in acoustic trauma. If you are exposed to loud noises over a long period of time, you are more likely to develop acoustic trauma.  See our page on Acoustic Shock Syndrome for more information and
whether you can make a compensation claim.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sounds are unable to pass into the inner ear. This is usually due to a blockage in the outer or inner ear, such as having too much ear wax, or from a build-up of fluid caused by conditions such as glue ear, or an ear infection (otitis media).

However, conductive hearing loss can also be caused by:
  • A ruptured (burst) eardrum may be through an injury
  • Otosclerosis – an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear
Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs following damage to the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea, or as a result of damage to the auditory nerve. In some cases, both may be damaged.

There are many different causes of sensorineural hearing loss, including:
  • Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis)
  • Damage to the inner ear from prolonged exposure to loud noises (acoustic trauma)
  • Viral infections of the inner ear, such as mumps or measles
  • Viral infections of the auditory nerve, such as mumps or rubella
  • Meniere's disease – a condition that affects a part of the inner ear known as the labyrinth
  • Acoustic neuroma – a non-cancerous (benign) growth on or near the auditory nerve
  • Meningitis – an infection of the meninges, which are protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
  • Encephalitis – inflammation (swelling) of the brain
  • Multiple sclerosis – a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)
  • Stroke
Cytotoxic medication, such as that which is used to treat cancer, can damage the cochlea or the auditory nerve, leading to sensorineural hearing loss.  Sometimes, hearing impairment can have both conductive and sensorineural causes.

Do I have a Claim for Deafness or Hearing Loss?

If your GP has diagnosed you with having a deafness or hearing loss injury and you think it may be caused by an accident at work, exposure to constant loud noise, a sudden unexpected loud noise or a road traffic accident involving injury to your head or ears then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

If you haven’t visited your GP yet but are having problems hearing, then do you:-
  • Have difficulty hearing over the telephone?
  • Difficulty listening if more than one person in room is talking?
  • Find other people complain about your TV or music volume?
  • Concentrate to understand other person in conversation?
  • Miss the sound of the doorbell or the phone ringing?
  • Get confused about direction of where sound is coming from?
  • Ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Work in a noisy environment?
  • Think everyone is mumbling?
  • Misunderstand what people are saying?
  • Occasionally hear a hissing, rushing or ringing sound?
  • Have people suggesting you may have a hearing impairment?
If the answer is yes to most of these questions please see your GP. They will examine your ear and they may carry out some simple hearing tests.  Your GP will ask you about your symptoms, including whether you have any pain in your ear, and when you first noticed the hearing loss.  It is very important that the GP notes on your medical notes when you first noticed the hearing loss from either an accident at work or on the road, a loud and noisy working environment or you were subject to a loud, unexpected sound or explosion you experienced at work through headphones or in a public place.

If you experienced hearing loss during work, your employers have a duty of care to ensure you have the adequate and protective equipment to minimise hearing loss, tinnitus, acoustic shock syndrome or even deafness.  They have to comply with strict guidelines as set by the Health & Safety Executive and undertake regular risk assessments.  If they fail to comply to the Regulations you may be able to make a claim for deafness and other hearing loss injuries against your employers’ Insurers.

Johnson Law Solicitors can help you with your claim for deafness or hearing loss

We have over 50 years personal injury experience dealing with industrial disease loss of hearing and hearing loss caused by accidents on the road or public place. Our specialist injury lawyers have already dealt with thousands of other deafness claims on behalf of satisfied clients and understand the pain and suffering you will be experiencing due to this debilitating injury.

We will get you the compensation payment you deserve not only for your ongoing pain and suffering for hearing loss but also any loss and future loss of earnings, ongoing medical assistance, out of pocket expenses and possible future rehabilitation costs should you lifestyle need to be adapted to assist you in your injuries.

Call us free today on 0800 130 0699 and speak to our friendly specialised hearing loss lawyers or complete our online claim form.