If you work with loud noises on a daily basis, it's just a matter of time before you do some damage to your ears. Some damage may be so minimal that you can barely tell the difference in your ability to hear. Other damage will be so significant that the hearing loss interferes with your daily life. Whether you suddenly have a constant ringing in your ears, or you have recognizable hearing loss, you need to take the condition seriously. Here are four steps you need to take if you have suffered work-related hearing loss.
File a Report
If your hearing has been affected by your current work conditions, you need to file a report with your employer as soon as possible. Hearing loss is a medical condition that is covered by workers compensation laws. However, you need to file the report in a timely manner. As soon as you recognize a change in your ability to hear, contact your human resource manager and file a claim for workers compensation.
See an Audiologist
Once you've filed a claim for workers compensation, you'll need to make an appointment to see an audiologist. Your general practitioner will be able to provide you with a basic hearing test, but for workers compensation purposes, you're going to need a more detailed examination of your ears and your hearing. As part of your workers compensation claim, your employer will have you go to an audiologist of their choosing, but it's a good idea to have a report from your own specialist as well.
Invest in Ear Plugs
If your hearing has been damaged due to work-related issues, you need to take steps to protect against continued damage. The best thing you can do is invest in a pair of noise reduction ear plugs. Wearing these ear plugs will help protect your ears from additional damage. Talk to your audiologist about the best type to get for your ears. Also, contact your workers compensation insurance claims worker. They may be able to authorize coverage for ear plugs for you. That way, you don't have out-of-pocket expenses for them.
Hire an Attorney
As soon as you go out on workers compensation for work-related hearing loss, you'll need to hire an attorney. Work-related hearing loss can be difficult to prove, which means you're going to need legal representation. Your workers compensation attorney will work to make sure that you receive the medical care you need for your condition, as well as gaining access to other workers compensation benefits you may be eligible for.