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Permanent disability: Excessive noise can cause hearing loss

Colorado workers in different industries are exposed to safety hazards every day. Some of these are not injuries that are immediately evident; rather, they develop over time. One such hazard is exposure to excessive noise, which can cause permanent disability after frequent exposure over a number of years. High noise levels in the workplace can profoundly affect a victim's quality of life as the ability to hear diminishes until most sounds become mumbled and subsequently disappear altogether.

Hearing loss can have a severe impact on a person's quality of life away from work, and it can be life-threatening at work. Sounds such as the backup alarm of a dump truck or forklift and the approaching sound of a vehicle can cause fatal workplace accidents. Hearing loss can impact day-to-day activities, and researchers have determined that workers who suffer work-related hearing impairment lose more healthy years than others who work in facilities without excessive noise.

Cognitive decline also results from hearing loss -- including loss of thinking skills and memory. Occupational hearing loss often goes hand-in-hand with ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is a continuous ringing, rushing or buzzing noise in the victim's ears or his or her head. It can disrupt sleep and lead to fatigue and loss of concentration at work.

Proving hearing loss and permanent disability to be work-related can be challenging. Fortunately, Colorado workers need not fight such battles on their own. The professional support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is available to help navigate benefits claims for coverage of medical expenses, lost income and more.

Source: blogs.cdc.gov, "Measuring the Impact of Hearing Loss on Quality of Life", Elizabeth Masterson, Accessed on Feb. 25, 2017

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Denver, CO 80222

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