Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Occupational Hearing Loss Can Also Lead to Heart Damage

Are there other health hazards associated with occupational hearing loss?

We have long been aware that exposure to loud noise, whether at the workplace or elsewhere, can lead to serious hearing loss. Occupational hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear as a result of noise or vibrations experienced by workers in certain occupations. Examples of jobs that regularly expose their workers to excessive noise are those involving: construction, farming, factory work, airline ground maintenance, and any jobs where employees are exposed to loud music, machinery, crowds or loud voices. Interestingly, teachers and nursery school workers are number 10 on the list of employees exposed to the most noise.

It is troubling enough to know that your hearing is being constantly assaulted at the workplace, but recent research demonstrates that exposure to long-term loud noise is also associated with coronary heart disease. This news is reported by the Better Hearing Institute. Researchers at Wichita State University, having analyzed more than 80 years worth of worldwide scientific research, confirm a direct link between hearing loss and heart disease.

Government regulations require employers to take into account both the decibel level and duration of noise to which workers are exposed, and to provide protections, such as noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs when necessary. Nonetheless, there are a great many situations in which employers fail to comply and workers remain unprotected (think of stage hands at rock concerts, waiters and waitresses in noisy bars and cocktail lounges, daycare employees). In addition, there is only so much protection offered by existing devices. Many employees experience hearing loss in spite of taking precautions. Furthermore, at times, defective devices or machines are the underlying cause of the problem.

What To Do If You Are Suffering Work-Related Hearing Loss

If you are an employee whose hearing has been damaged on the job, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses, possible wage loss, and pain and suffering. In order to negotiate workers' compensation or personal injury claims, you should not try to go it alone. You are considerably more likely to negotiate or settle a successful claim if you work with an attorney highly respected in the field at your side.

Pertinent Facts

There are several important facts to be considered when confronting a loss of hearing claim.

  1. According to the National Institutes of Health, 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss related to noise exposure. Those who work in noisy environments or who engage in noisy recreational activities are at greater risk of hearing loss.
  2. Because many individuals expose themselves to high levels of noise during leisure activities, it is sometimes difficult to prove that hearing loss has resulted from workplace exposure.
  3. Recent research has shown that those who already have hearing loss should be referred for medical examinations including cardiovascular evaluation.
  4. Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health in Lexington report that people with bilateral high-frequency hearing loss are approximately twice as likely to have coronary heart disease than people with normal high-frequency hearing. Those who have been exposed to loud noise at work are four times more likely to have coronary heart disease.

Because the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow, it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system are noted earlier in the inner ear than elsewhere in the body. This opens up a chicken/egg controversy regarding hearing loss and cardiovascular damage. Nonetheless, the correlation between the two is concerning, particularly for those who work in an excessively noisy environment. If you are in this situation, you should have both your hearing and your cardiovascular system medically evaluated.

If you find that you are experiencing hearing loss, either as a single symptom, or in combination with coronary heart disease, you should consult with a well-respected attorney who specializes in both workers' compensation and in personal injury

Archived Posts


Workers Compensation Law News

© 2017 Louis P. Lombardi II & Associates | Disclaimer
1000 Germantown Pike, Suite J6 , Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
| Phone: 610-239-7600 | 888-818-4343
215 South Broad Street, Suite 702, Philadelphia, PA 19107
| Phone: 215-922-6300 | 888-818-4343
21 N. Main Street, Chalfont, PA 18914
| Phone: 215-997-8282

Workers' Compensation | Personal Injury | About

Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative