What will an Audiogram tell my Solicitor about my claim for Industrial Deafness?
What is an Audiogram?
An audiogram is a test carried out by a specialist Audiologist using equipment which measures the sound that is picked up by your ear drum
The Test can either be an air conduction test or a bone conduction hearing test. It is complicated to describe the different methods used by both but the important thing to note is that both provide 2 charts (one of each ear) used by the audiologist which provide clues as to whether the hearing loss has been caused by the place you may have worked previously.
How Is Noise Induced Hearing Loss Shown on the Audiogram?
This is rather technical but in essence there is a certain pattern on the graphs which the audiogram produces which indicate that hearing loss was caused by the place you worked.
The Audiogram shows a very noticeable spike at certain parts of the graph which indicates industrially induced deafness.
How Reliable is the Audiogram?
The audiogram is not foolproof but it provides a very good indication – and from that further investigations can be made.
What the audiogram is really helpful at doing is separating off the symptoms of deafness and industrially induced deafness. Clearly as we get older we become more hard of hearing as part of the ageing process. However, that type of deafness does not give the same characteristic ‘spike’ on the graph.
Can an Industrial Hearing Test show false results?
Normally the test is repeated a number of times to ensure that there is some consistency before finalising the results. In addition the person being tested will not be able to give results that are inaccurate deliberately because of the nature of the sounds that they have to recognise.
So audiograms are generally relatively accurate and provide a good pointer for the audiologist and the Solicitor who reads the report.
What Should I do If I think I am suffering from Industrial Induced Deafness?
If you wish to investigate further whether you have a claim you must contact a Solicitor who is trained and experienced in industrial deafness cases.
Industrial deafness cases are complex because there are a number of factors that need to be considered even after the hearing loss has been identified as probably being caused by work. The person bringing the claim needs to have brought it within three years of their being aware that their deafness was caused by work. The medical records need to be checked to ensure this is correct. It can also be extremely difficult to find a company insurer to pay for the compensation if the company has gone out of business.