Some of us at the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., are old enough to have noticed diminished hearing, and the younger ones on our team know that their time is coming. While it is natural for hearing to lose its sharpness as we age – can you still hear the mosquito ringtones that teenagers can detect on their smartphones? – we also understand that some kinds of hearing loss are not natural or normal. In fact, noise pollution in the workplace can be the source of many Iowa residents’ hearing loss.
There are many jobs that are associated with noise and hearing loss, as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association explains. You might have your hearing damaged by repetitive, extremely loud explosive or mechanical noises that are common in construction, factories, mining or military work. Constant noise on a moderate to high level might also cause hearing loss, such as the sounds you might be subjected to while working among large groups of screaming, shouting children or in places where music is always blaring, such as bars, restaurants and live concert venues.
A noisy workplace might not only cause such hearing-related issues as tinnitus and inner ear damage, but it could also result in frequent headaches or migraines, anxiety, and a raised heart rate. If you work in a typically loud industry, your employer should provide equipment to protect your hearing, as well as education for employees and regular hearing checkups. Our page on workers’ compensation explains more about your employer’s obligations and your rights in obtaining compensation for a work-related health issue.