Noise Induced Hearing Loss Audiogram: The medical evidence your solicitor will need to prove you are suffering from industrial deafness caused from excessive exposure to noise in the workplace
Noise induced hearing loss audiogram: on this page you will discover what an audiogram is; 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 Ear Nose And Throat 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 showing your hearing levels for your left and right ear plotted from a hearing test typically in sound proof booth.
If the diagram has some distinct characteristics it can demonstrate hearing damage from noise exposure and so become a noise induced hearing loss audiogram (essential evidence your solicitor will need to prove a claim for compensation).
It is produced by an audiologist by testing your hearing in two ways:
1. Air conduction hearing test
This is the normal way that you hear – the air vibrates with sound which is picked up by your ear drum.
An audiologist will use head phones and send sounds 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.
2. Bone conduction hearing test
This is very slightly different than the first 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. You will find, for example, if you have suffered a burst ear drum – you can still hear when sound is applied to the bone.
This is known as bone conduction testing – and sound is applied directly to the bone for high and low sounds of varying volumes. The results are mapped on the audiogram to show a different diagram for bone and air conduction testing.
When is noise induced hearing loss shown on the 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 sounds, which is a strong sign that hearing has been damaged from continuous excessive noise exposure.
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:
1. Audiograms are taken by specialist audiologists who can tell when someone is not responding correctly.
2. The test is repeated a few times to ensure the results are the same.
3. 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.
4. The hearing loss shows a noise notch only for a specific sound range – which the person being tested has no way of knowing
Which medical expert looks at your audiogram to decide if industrial deafness exists?
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 a Ear Nose And Throat Consultant or ENT.
A specialist industrial injuries lawyer will instruct both of these medical experts to prove if you are suffering noise induced hearing loss.
How does your medical expert tell what hearing loss is due to noise exposure and what is due to old 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 compared with your actual 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.
How is hearing loss due to the ageing process taken into account in deciding your noise induced hearing loss?
Hearing loss due to the ageing process affects everyone – the medical name for this is “presbycusis”. A 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 in a report your total hearing loss in decibels, the amount due to the ageing process ( presbycusis ) out and the amount due to exposure to noise in the workplace. This will be described per ear and a calculation done for the overall hearing loss for both ears.
Summary Noise Induced Hearing Loss Audiogram
On this page 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 click industrial deafness claim to see how your UK industrial disease lawyer can use the noise induced hearing loss audiogram and other evidence to claim compensation from your employer.