Hearing loss occurs in people of all ages and is caused by a variety of circumstances. Sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss are the three types of hearing loss, so, let’s find out more about them and what to do about them.
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Hearing Loss: Prevalence
Hearing loss is the third most frequent chronic physical ailment in the United States, after high blood pressure and arthritis. It has a higher prevalence than diabetes, eye problems, or cancer.
It affects almost one-quarter of the working population, with work-related exposures accounting for roughly one-fourth of these instances.
Which Type of Hearing Loss Is the Most Common on the Job: Types of Hearing Loss
1. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The most prevalent kind of hearing loss is sensorineural loss. It can be caused by aging, loud noise exposure, injury, sickness, certain medications, or a genetic disorder. It develops when the inner ear or the hearing nerve itself is injured, or when some of the hair cells within the cochlea are destroyed.
Although this form of hearing loss is often not curable medically or surgically, many persons with this type of loss find that hearing aids can help.
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss might happen all of a sudden or over a few days. It is critical to consult an otologist (a doctor who specializes in ear problems) right away.
The longer you wait to treat this issue (two or more weeks after the symptoms first appear), the less likely drugs will be able to help you.
2. Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss happens when sound waves are unable to travel all the way to the inner ear from the outside or middle ear.
Earwax, fluid, illness, bone anomaly, or a foreign item in the ear canal may obstruct the middle ear space and may block sound.
It can be corrected in some persons with medicinal or surgical intervention. Children with repeated ear infections or who introduce strange items into their ear canal are more likely to develop conductive hearing loss.
3. Mixed Hearing Loss
A conductive hearing loss can occur simultaneously with a sensorineural hearing loss or SNHL. This indicates that the outer or middle ear, as well as the inner ear or the nerve system to the brain, may be damaged. This is a hearing loss that is both severe and mild.
A mixed hearing loss can result from anything that causes conductive hearing loss or SNHL. Consider if you have a hearing loss as a result of working in a noisy environment and have fluid in your middle ear. The combination of the two may make your hearing worse than it would be if you only had one issue.
Which Type of Hearing Loss Is the Most Common on the Job: Differences
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by anatomical difficulties in the ear or problems with the nerves that regulate hearing. It’s common for sensorineural hearing loss to last a lifetime, and it can strike anybody at any age and cause mild to severe hearing loss, depending on the individual. Genes, loud noise exposure, and ear trauma are some of the most common reasons.
Conductive hearing loss happens when an obstruction hinders sound transmission from the outside and middle ear to the inner ear. Fluid accumulation, ear infections, excessive ear wax, a foreign item in the ear, or bone deformities can all cause sound blockage. Conductive hearing loss is generally curable if the obstruction cause can be removed by surgery or treatment.
Which Workers Are at Risk?
Each year, in the US, over 22 million employees (17%) are exposed to hazardous noise, and approximately 10 million workers are exposed to solvents, which can cause hearing damage.
Other ototoxic substances that might harm hearing are exposed to an unknown number of employees. Every industry area has workers who are exposed to noise or chemicals that might cause hearing loss or both.
The Hearing Loss Workers Compensation Program
Is available to compensate employees whose hearing has been impaired as a result of noisy work employment. Workplace noise need not “cause” hearing loss. It only needs to contribute to the loss.
Exposure to “noisy employment” for just 90 days may result in a compensable loss. Always feel free to ask Johnson Law Offices about the process, the law, or an individual case.
The legal, medical, and audio-metric questions that come into play in a hearing loss workers’ compensation claim can be complicated.
The claims require attention to detail mixed with an ability to work well with hearing-impaired retirees and their families, especially spouses, and their hearing health care professionals.