Acoustic trauma is the proper title for hearing loss when caused by exposure to excessive noise. Acute noise injury and chronic noise exposure are two forms of acoustic trauma that can affect individuals and are considered instances of personal injury. With acute noise injury, the individual is exposed suddenly to an extremely loud noise. With chronic noise exposure, small noise injuries take place over a period of time that lead to hearing loss.
Injuries caused by acute noise can cause an individual to lose their hearing temporarily or permanently. Whether a person experiences an explosion that takes place suddenly or is victim to excessive speaker volume at a rock concert, exposure to loud noises can cause injury to the ears which can result in hearing loss.
When loud noises are present in a sudden manner, it can lead to hair cell injury in the lower area of the cochlea. This is the portion of the ear that is responsible for picking up sounds with high frequencies. When this occurs, the ears can feel full and sounds are muffled. An individual who has acute noise injury may hear ringing sounds in the ears, another common symptom of the condition.
When Acoustic Injury Occurs
When acoustic injury occurs, it can lead to temporary damage for a couple of days or permanent hearing loss. In a work setting, employers are supposed to ensure that employees who will be exposed to loud noise for long periods of time are protected. OSHA has created guidelines that employers must follow to ensure acute noise injury does not take place in the work environment.
Guidelines state that employees who will be exposed to over 85 decibels per hour of noise must wear protective ear coverings while on the job. Protection must also be worn if sudden loud noises could occur. Earmuffs are a great way to protect the ears but there are also other options that can do the job. If employees are not provided protection, employers run the risk of legal action. Employers are legally bound to provide such protective measures as well as provide hearing loss screenings to ensure employees are not affected by the noises in the workplace.
Filing a Hearing Loss Claim
If you have been exposed to loud noise at work, you may have the ability to file a injury claim based on your injury. Acoustic trauma can create side effects that are uncomfortable and damaging to daily life, including ringing in the ears, being unable to hear correctly or experiencing permanent hearing loss.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job and have acoustic trauma, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our New Orleans Law Office today to learn more and schedule an appointment for a consultation.