noise induced hearing loss audiogram

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Audiogram: How To Prove Your Hearing Damage Is From Noise

In this article you will discover all about a noise induced hearing loss audiogram is and why it essential to help succeed with your calim for compensation.

We explain how the shape of the audiogram can prove your occupational hearing loss compensation claim; why an audiogram can’t be faked; the role of the ENT consultant; how hearing loss is adjusted for age and how your hearing loss is measured.

What is a noise induced hearing loss audiogram?

An audiogram is a diagram or graph setting out the results of a hearing test typically taken in a sound proof booth. The hearing levels for your left and right ear are plotted in the audiogram and will demonstrate the strength of your hearing at different frequencies and whether hearing loss has occurred.

If the diagram has distinct characteristics and a distinct shape – it can demonstrate the amount of your loss has come from noise exposure and is therefore considered noise induced hearing loss.

Your solicitor will need an audiogram with teh correct characteristics to prove your claim for hearing damage compensation).

How is a noise induced hearing loss audiogram produced?

An audiogram is produced by an audiologist by testing your hearing in two ways:

Air conduction hearing test

Air conduction is the normal way that you hear. The air vibrates with sound, which is picked up by your ear drum.

An audiologist will place you in head phones in a sound proof booth. Sounds are then sent at different noise levels and frequencies (such as a low sound compared with a high pitch sound). You respond when you hear a sound and your responses are charted to create the air conduction part of the audiogram.

hearing test occupational deafness
Hearing Test For Occupational Deafness

Bone conduction hearing test

This is very slightly different than the first air conduction test test. If you place your fingers behind your ears you can feel a thick bone – you can actually hear sound from this bone if sound is applied directly to it.

This is known as bone conduction testing – and sound is applied directly to the bone for high and low frequency sounds of varying volumes.

The results are mapped on the audiogram to show a different diagram for bone and air conduction testing.

You may be surprised to learn
Even if you have suffered a burst ear drum – you can still hear when sound is applied to the bone.

Can an industrial deafness hearing test be faked?

You might think it is possible to fake an hearing test to show noise induced hearing loss – but this is virtually impossible to do, as:

Audiologist detects when someone is not responding correctly

Audiograms are taken by specialist audiologists who can tell when someone is not responding correctly.

Hearing test repeated

The hearing test is repeated a few times to ensure the results are the same.

Little or no background noise during hearing test

The hearing test must be taken where there is little or no background noise.

As part of the test, the audiologist must record the background noise levels and if over a certain level the hearing test and audiogram is invalid.

Hearing loss for a specific sound range

The hearing loss shows a noise notch only for a specific sound range – which the person being tested has no way of knowing

How can noise induced hearing loss be shown on your audiogram?

A noise induced hearing loss audiogram has an unusual shape. It has what is known as a noise notch.

This noise notch shows a big fall in hearing levels for certain frequencies of sounds, which is a strong sign that hearing has been damaged from continuous excessive noise exposure.

How can hearing loss from noise be separated from hearing loss from age?

Not only does a noise induced audiogram show a noise notch, but it can also show the expected level of hearing for someone of your age and sex across the whole range of sounds.

The audiogram illustrates both the expected hearing level and your actual plotted level of hearing.

This difference averaged out between both ears – is your noise induced hearing loss.

What is the measure of noise induced hearing loss?

The measure of noise induced hearing loss – is a measurement of sound known as decibels or DB.

Which medical expert interprets your audiogram for noise induced hearing loss?

It is very important to point out that an audiologist tests your hearing and produces your audiogram, but it is not the audiologist who makes a decision as to what the audiogram means.

The interpretation of your audiogram is down to another specialist medical expert – typically an Ear Nose And Throat Consultant or ENT.

A specialist industrial injuries lawyer will instruct both an audiologist and an ENT to prove if you are suffering noise induced hearing loss.

How is hearing loss due to the ageing taken into account?

Hearing loss due to the ageing process affects everyone – the medical name for this is “presbycusis”.

Legal Tip
An Ear Nose And Throat medical expert will use the word “presbycusis” in his report, so it is useful for you to know what it means.

Your medical expert will set out in a medico-legal report – your total hearing loss in decibels, the amount due to the ageing process (presbycusis) and the amount due to exposure to noise in the workplace.

The hearing loss will be described per ear and a calculation done for the overall hearing loss for both ears.

Summary & Next Steps

In this article – we have explained why the shape of a noise induced hearing loss audiogram is critical evidence that your industrial injury solicitor will rely on to help prove your industrial disease claim.

We recommend you see our industrial deafness claim article – for an explanation of how your UK industrial disease lawyer can use the noise induced hearing loss audiogram and other evidence to claim compensation from your employer.

If you have been exposed to noise at work, have had your hearing tested or you are displaying symptoms of hearing loss and are thinking about having a hearing test – why not use our free online / telephone specialist solicitor legal help.

You can discuss your situation direct with our solicitors, ask whatever questions you feel necessary and have your potential claim assessed.