For many of us normal and gradual hearing loss may take place as a natural part of aging. For others though hearing loss can occur through continuous exposure to loud noise (often in the work place) or through sudden head loud noises or direct head injuries. Understanding the symptoms involved in each, and the two main kinds of hearing disability can be useful if you feel you have a case for a personal injury claim based on another’s negligence.
The two main kinds of hearing loss are conductive and sensor neural. Essentially conductive hearing loss occurs as a mechanical problem in the middle ear. The three little bones (for whatever reason) fail to vibrate and send sound to the cochlea. With sensor neural, commonly called nerve damage, the little hairs in the inner ear are damaged. Sensor neural damage typically causes difficulty in distinguishing higher pitched sounds and is usually irreversible.
The classic case of occupational noise damage is normally sensor neural damage and occurs over a period of time. Factory workers and engineers tend to be most at danger of developing this kind of hearing damage. Interestingly firefighters and paramedics have been taking out an increasing number of lawsuits against Federal Signal who make most of the sirens. Most cases of occupational hearing loss, also known as noise induced or industrial deafness, take place over a period of time. Sometimes though, this damage can occur rapidly with a sudden loud and excessive outburst of sound. This kind of hearing damage is known as acoustic shock and is common in such professions as call centre workers wearing headsets.
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