Have you noticed that everyone around you seems to be whispering instead of talking in normal conversational volumes? If so, you may have suffered hearing loss due to occupational exposure(s).
In some cases, a single event like an explosion or concussive blow to the head can cause immediate hearing loss. But, the more common scenario is that the hearing loss occurs gradually over the course of your employment. By the time it is noticeable to you and others, the damage is likely already permanent.
One industry that is notorious for consistent high decibel levels is the construction field. But a hearing loss on a job can be very dangerous, as a worker may fail to hear a shouted warning or whistle in time to avoid an approaching hazard.
Also, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that workers who regularly are exposed to loud, incessant noise on the job can have a significantly elevated risk of developing heart disease in comparison to those who did not work in noisy environments.
But your hearing loss can adversely affect your life outside of work. Imagine never again hearing your favorite song, the coo of your newborn grandchild or your spouse say the words "I love you." It's a devastating loss and one for which you may be able to seek compensation.
If your hearing was damaged due to one or more workplace exposures, you may need to file a workers' compensation claim to receive medical treatment and adaptive equipment like a hearing aid as well as financial compensation. If your hearing loss compromises your ability to continue working at your same job, you may qualify for job training in another field.