UK industrial deafness solicitor sets out the importance of the results of a hearing test to prove you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss from exposure to excessive noise in the workplace
If you are considering a claim for noise induced hearing loss – you must remember that it is for the Claimant (you or your solicitor) to prove medical causation.
In other words – you must show that you are suffering from hearing loss, that hearing loss is noise induced hearing loss (not just aged related hearing loss) and that hearing loss has come from exposure to excessive noise at work.
How do medical experts determine if hearing loss is due to age or caused from exposure to noise at work?
The hearing test is a critical tool in proving the type of hearing loss you are suffering from.
A hearing test typically takes place in a sound proof booth. You will be asked to respond with an indicator when a noise is heard. The hearing test takes two parts – an air transmission and a bone conduction.
In the air transmission test – sound enters your ear in the normal way transmitted by air and past to your ear drum. In the bone conduction test – sound is introduced via the bone behind your ear.
The results of the hearing tests are plotted out for both ears on a graph. This graph and the hearing test results when plotted out are known as an audiogram.
If you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss – both of the graphs for air transmission and bone conduction should match and be of a distinctive shape. At certain frequencies there is a marked decrease in your hearing – the audiogram shows a distinct step and this demonstrates that hearing loss relates to noise and not just age.
This hearing test can also show the amount of hearing loss from age and the amount from noise.
Can hearing tests be faked?
A proper noise induced hearing loss audiogram cannot be faked by a client. If an attempt to exaggerate hearing loss is made by a client – the shape of the audiogram will demonstrate this and actually disprove a claim.
If you are taking a hearing test – listen carefully to the instructions from the audiologist as to how to conduct the hearing test and stick to it meticulously and honestly. In this way – you will get the most accurate results and give yourself the best opportunity of proving noise induced hearing loss.
What should you do if you have been exposed to excessive noise in the workplace?
If you have been exposed to excessive noise in the workplace and are starting to notice problems with your hearing – you should go to your GP and explain your difficulties. Your GP should ask about your previous work environments and refer you to a specialist to have a hearing test.
As soon as you get your hearing test results you should contact a specialist solicitor to discuss. The clock is ticking to make a claim from the date of knowledge of injury and the results of a hearing test are practically the latest date for your reasonable knowledge. Working out the date of knowledge is a complicated procedure and will often pre-date the hearing test so remember “time is of the essence”.
To make a claim or to discuss your hearing test with me in person click hearing test audiogram industrial deafness claim.