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As a nation we are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of hearing loss and the fact that in almost all cases, once the hearing is damaged, the damage is irreversible.

If you are concerned about your hearing, whether or not you work in a noisy environment, you should speak to your doctor about getting a hearing test. This is the best way to discover if you have a problem with your hearing and if so, the likely causes and potential treatments available.

Types of hearing tests

While your general practitioner or practice nurse can examine your ears, it is most likely that if you are concerned about your hearing you will be sent to a specialist to conduct tests to find out how well your ears are functioning and to investigate their ability to detect different sound levels. There are four common types of hearing test available. These include:

AOAE (Automated Otoacoustic Emissions) test which involves a computer which is attached to an earpiece that plays clicking noises and measures the response from the ears

AABR (Automated Auditory Brainstem Response) tests where sensors are placed on the head and neck to check the response to sounds being played through headphones

Pure Tone Audiometry tests where sounds of different volumes and frequencies are played through headphones and a button is pressed by the subject when, or if, the sounds are heard

Bone Conduction Tests where a vibrating noise generator is placed behind the ear and presses against the bone to see how well the hearing (auditory) nerve is functioning

If it is proved that your hearing has been damaged, there are various types of hearing aids now available to help with day-to-day life and reduce the impact of hearing loss on those who suffer from it.

What if your hearing has been damaged through your employment?

As with all aspects of working life, employers have a duty to minimise the risk of illness or injury to any of their workers. This includes managing the risk of hearing loss in employees. This can be done in many ways including reducing the exposure to noise, reducing noise levels, providing suitable protective equipment to minimise the danger, and implementing suitable procedures to avoid the dangers in the first place. If an employer fails to act appropriately, then you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly trained solicitors today to find out if we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Calls are free, and you are under no obligation to continue with a case if you chose not to do so.

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