tinnitus claim

Tinnitus Claim: Claim Compensation For Noise Induced Tinnitus And Hearing Loss

Find out how to make a tinnitus claim for compensation for a current or former employer for exposure to noise at work leading to hearing damage.

Discover what a tinnitus claim is; the symptoms of occupational hearing loss and tinnitus; what you should do as soon as you discover your symptoms to ensure you can claim compensation from a past or present employer.

What is a tinnitus claim?

A tinnitus claim is a claim for compensation from a current or former employer for hearing damage caused by exposure to excessive noise in the workplace.

It typically forms part of a broader noise induced hearing loss claim although tinnitus can occur without hearing loss.

What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

The symptoms of tinnitus are sometimes described as a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in one or both ears. This sound can be constant or intermittent (happen now and again).

Worse at night

Tinnitus is initially noticed much more – when there is quiet, such as at night.

Hamper daily activities

In an extreme case of tinnitus – the sufferer’s daily activities can be hampered and can lead to difficulties falling asleep.

How do the initial symptoms of noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus start?

Symptoms of noise induced hearing loss will start to begin when you start to notice:

Missing what people say

You may realise that you are missing what people are saying – especially when there is background noise. A typical situation might be in a pub when people are chatting in the background or at family gatherings.

Everyone, other than you, seems to hear what is being said.

TV turned up too loud

Family members, spouses or partners may complain about the TV having to be turned up too loudly whereas you need the extra noise to hear the programme.

Struggle to hear doorbell or telephone ringing

Often you may struggle to hear people knocking at the door or ringing the doorbell. You may be constantly missing the house phone ringing.

Whistling sound in one ear

Quite often a short time period after you notice hearing loss symptoms – you will notice a ringing, whistling or hissing sound in one ear.

Starting at night

You will usually first notice this at night when all else is quiet.

Initially intermittent noise

The ringing sound may initially happen every now and again and then stop.

Becoming constant noise

This will eventually become more regular and eventually become a constant noise.

Moving to both ears

Often the same problem will start in the other ear too.

The ringing is the beginning of tinnitus.

Can tinnitus come from exposure to noise in the workplace?

Yes – most definitely. In actual fact exposure to excessive noise in the workplace is one of the most common causes of a tinnitus claim.

Excessive noise exposure quite often causes occupational hearing loss. It is very common when the initial symptoms of hearing loss start to appear, so too do the initial symptoms of tinnitus.

Phase change at end of working day

If you work in a noisy factory or even have been at a club with loud music – immediately after leaving the noisy environment you will hear a ringing in your ears – which will typically clear after a number of hours.

Watch out – this is not tinnitus, but is the short term effect of excessive noise exposure, which is sometimes called a “phase change”.

Workers typically think nothing of this as the ringing initially clears.

tinnitus compensation claim
Tinnitus Compensation Claim

What should you do if you notice symptoms of tinnitus?

The steps you should take if you notice symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus include:

Consult you GP immediately

You should contact your GP and explain the hearing difficulties you are having.

Your GP should realise the problem and ask you about your working history to see if you have had noise exposure.

GP referral for hearing tests

Once your GP appreciates you have worked in a noisy environment – your GP should refer you to hospital for testing.

At hospital an audiologist should complete a hearing test and plot the results in a hearing test audiogram.

Be Careful About Limitation
Determining how long you have to claim can be based not just on when your exposure took place, but also when your symptoms commenced and very importantly when you realised (or it was reasonable to realise) that your symptoms could be hearing loss or damage from noise exposure.
It is best therefore to go to your doctors presenting with symptoms and not necessarily stating you have hearing loss from noise. This will allow your doctor to make his/her own determination and not make misleading entries on your medical records. For example – that you knew you had hearing loss from noise (which could inadvertently imply some an earlier date of knowledge).
Should you doctor not refer you to a specialist for testing – you may at this point mention your past noisy work environment to prompt a referral.
Meeting with an ENT consultant

The hearing test results and audiogram will be passed to an Ear Nose And Throat Consultant Doctor (usually referred to as an ENT) to interpret. Should your ENT detect hearing loss from noise – your past work environments will be discussed and consideration given for some form of hearing aid (if necessary).

Keep a diary of the symptoms you are suffering

Keeping a daily (or weekly) diary of your hearing loss symptoms and tinnitus will be of great assistance should you consider making an industrial deafness and tinnitus claim against your employer.

You will be able to use this diary to help explain to your solicitor effectively when you first experienced tinnitus symptoms. It will also provide a helpful reference source when you are examined by a medical expert instructed as part of your claim.

The Independent Medical Expert
Your solicitor will need to instruct an independent medical expert to prove to the court and your employer that you are suffering from tinnitus and NIHL as result of noise exposure at work.
This expert will have access to your GP and hospital notes, will examine you, arrange a hearing test and report on the results. This evidence is essential to show medical causation.

Consider past and current work environments for noise exposure

Ask your self the question – did you at any time in your life work in a noisy work environment?

If the answer is “yes” – it is quite possible that you will be entitled to compensation from a former or current employer for industrial deafness.

Contact a specialist solicitor immediately

Once you start experiencing symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus you should contact a specialist industrial deafness lawyer urgently.

You need to appreciate whether you have a claim and if you are still in time to claim.

Remember – it is important to act quickly and start your claim against your current or former employer before it is too late.

Three year limitation period to start your tinnitus claim

Exposure to noisy work environment may have happened many years ago, but it is still not too late to make claim for compensation.

Often you will not realize you have hearing damage until many years after your exposure to noise commenced.

Generally, you will have three years from the date you realized (the reasonable man or woman would have realised) you had hearing damage (and/or tinnitus) and that this was likely to have come from your past exposure to a noisy work environment.

How much compensation can you claim for tinnitus?

See our industrial deafness and tinnitus payouts article – for calculations of compensation amounts for different types of hearing damage claims.

Tinnitus Claim Summary

On this page you have seen how a tinnitus claim goes hand in hand with an industrial deafness claim; what the symptoms of tinnitus are and what you must do to make a claim against your employer before it is legally too late.

If you have worked in a noisy environment and have difficulties with your hearing – we recommend you see our free legal help options. You can speak direct to our solicitors about your potential claim and ask any questions you may have – online or by phone.