Industrial Deafness, Its Causes, Symptoms and Types

Long term exposure of ears to a highly noisy environment can damage your ears. Working under such conditions is not advisable as it can permanently damage your hearing. There are different types of hearing losses you may suffer from. They range from a temporary loss of hearing to a permanent condition of deafness.

If you do not know what industrial deafness is, you are in the right place. In this article, we will answer all your questions related to hearing loss. Moreover, you will also be told about your eligibility for the industrial injuries compensation. So let us start from the nuts and bolts.

What is Industrial Deafness?

Industrial deafness is a condition which refers to the loss of hearing as a result of working in an excessively noisy environment. Working for a long period in such an environment can be risky. As a result, you may damage your hearing temporarily or permanently. This condition is also known as occupational deafness or hearing loss.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Before we dive deeper into the symptoms and common types of hearing loss, you should know what is responsible for it. It is important to know the causes of hearing loss because there are some conditions under which you can get a hearing loss claim. So if you are unaware of what is responsible for your deafness, you will never be able to get your claim. Here are a few most common reasons behind a hearing loss of any person.

  • Ageing
  • Accidents at work
  • Long term exposure to excessive noise
  • Working without ear protection under noisy conditions.
  • Explosion at work

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Now comes the real part. How will you come to know whether you are suffering from industrial deafness or not? There are some symptoms which help you to know about your hearing conditions. If you do not know about these symptoms, chances are you may be suffering from hearing loss without even knowing about it. So here is how you will know about your deafness.

  • Difficulty in listening
  • Lack of hearing from one ear
  • Lack of hearing from both ears
  • Permanent hearing loss from one or both ears
  • Difficulty in phone conversations
  • Listening to only loud voices
  • Constantly hearing buzzing, ringing, hissing, droning, ticking or roaring noises.
  • Having to turn up the volume of T.V, Radio etc to listen properly. 

If you are having these symptoms, chances are that you may be suffering from industrial deafness.

Types of Industrial Deafness?

Having deafness does not mean that you are completely unable to listen to any kind of sound. There are different types of intensities of hearing loss. They range from buzzing and ringing sounds to permanent loss of hearing. Some people may only be suffering hearing loss from one ear. While some may be deprived of listening from both ears. Here are a few common types of hearing losses you may experience.

Temporary hearing loss

This condition is also regarded as a threshold shift. You may experience this kind of hearing loss for continuously working in sounds ranging from 75 dB to 80 dB. It affects your hearing for a couple of hours and days in some cases. Once you are out of the noisy environment, you may have difficulty in listening to T.V, people, phone calls etc. For some time, you may also continuously hear ringing, buzzing and tickling sounds etc.

But your hearing will come back to normal after some time passes. All you need to do is just have some rest to let your ears come back to normal.

Permanent Deafness

If you work in excessively loud noises for a longer period, you may become permanently deaf. This period usually consists of a couple of years. It means that you will not become permanently deaf overnight. In such cases, you may have to use any hearing aids to listen properly. But in some severe cases, even hearing aids do not do their jobs and permanently get deprived of hearing.


Tinnitus refers to some specific types of sounds you keep on listening to when you have some defect in hearing. These sounds include ringing, buzzing, whistling noises and droning etc even though they are not audible to other people near you. It can lead to difficulty in sleeping, concentrating on your work and difficulty in listening to some specific sounds. Having such conditions can severely damage your reputation at work. That is why you should get proper treatment for it.

Acoustic Trauma

This type of hearing loss occurs by listening to sudden loud noises. They may arise from an explosion at the workplace and gunshots etc. Depending on the severity of the explosion it can damage your eardrum for good and result in permanent deafness. So if you damage your hearing because of any explosive sound, it is a case of acoustic trauma.

What is a Safe Level of Sound to Work?

It is important to know the safe level of noise to work. Otherwise, you may damage your hearing. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that the workers should work in an environment which is equivalent to 85 dBA. Having the noise level below 85 dBA is considered safe for an eight hours shift. If your company is following this standard, it is highly unlikely that you may suffer from hearing loss.

Can I Get An Industrial Deafness Claim?

If you have been exposed to excessively loud noise at your workplace which has damaged your hearing, you are eligible to get an industrial deafness claim. To get your claim, you have to prove that your hearing loss was caused by your work environment. To prove that, you should consult your case with professional injury claim specialists. You will be guided on how to make your claim. You have to get proper treatment for your hearing loss. Then you should gather all the evidence which states that your workplace environment is responsible for your hearing loss. If you can prove this, then you can get your amount of compensation.

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