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New York Deafness Injury Frequently Asked Questions

How common is hearing loss?

Current estimates are that there are 34 million people suffering from hearing injuries and disabilities.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
  • Loss of hearing;
  • Ringing in the ears;
  • Muffled sounds;
  • Difficulty hearing speech;
  • Asking for people to repeat themselves; and
  • Turning up the volume for electronics.
What professions commonly experience deafness injuries?
  • Construction workers;
  • Firefighters;
  • Factory workers;
  • Steel and mine workers;
  • People in the music industry; and
  • Textile and factory workers.
What causes hearing loss?

Usually hearing loss is caused by long term, continuous exposure to loud noises, explosions, or other deafening sounds.

How can I prove that noise caused my hearing injury?

It is important to speak with your general practitioner about your hearing loss. They will likely refer you to a hearing specialist who can run various tests to confirm your hearing loss.

What kinds of hearing loss are there?

Sensorineural: This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear, the sounds processing part of the brain or the central nervous system. With this type of disorder, the nerves and the brain are unable to process sound. This type of hearing loss can be genetic.

Conductive: This type of hearing loss is caused when sound waves can’t reach the eardrum.

Mixed: Hearing loss can be a combination of the above, and usually means there is damage to both the inner and middle ears.

What medically causes hearing loss?
  • Noise induced hearing loss: This condition is caused by loud noises, and is the most common cause of hearing loss.
  • Presbycusis: This hearing loss is a result of aging.
  • Genetic hearing loss: Caused by genetic factors.
  • Temporary blockage: This is caused by ear wax, fluids and infections.
  • Disease: Some diseases cause hearing loss, such as Meniere’s disease, or meningitis.
  • Ototoxic: Hearing loss can be caused by medication and medical treatments.
  • Otis Media: common ear infection
  • Osteosclerosis: Hearing loss from abnormal bone growth.
  • Head injuries: Can be caused by tumors, eardrum perforations and other head or ear injuries.
What can I expect from an audiological evaluation?

The doctor will give you a variety of audiological tests and will ask you a lot of questions, such as:

  • Your health history;
  • Exposure of workplace stressors;
  • Medications;
  • Past surgeries; and
  • Family history.
What is ringing in the ears?

Any type of ringing, hissing, clicking, chirping etc. is known as tinnitus. Over 50 million people suffer from it. While the condition is permanent, it can be improved with hearing aids and other methods.

How do I know if I have a worker’s compensation claim?

If your injury was work related, chances are it will be covered by worker’s compensation. If you have been injured at work, it is important that you speak with a lawyer to ensure that you are aware of your rights are protected.

I think I have a worker’s compensation claim. Is there a deadline for filing a claim?

Yes. A worker’s compensation claim must be reported to your supervisor within 30 days of the date of the injury. If you decide to file a claim, there is a two-year statute of limitations. It is important to note that if the injury is due to a repetitive injury and has occurred over time. For these claims, the clock starts running when you should have known that the injury was occurring.

Can I sue my employer?

Usually the presence of worker’s compensation prevents you from suing your employer. That is not to say however, that you might have a claim against a third party. It is important that you speak with a lawyer to learn about your legal options.

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