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What is industrial deafness?

Industrial deafness, also known as ‘occupational deafness’ and ‘noise induced hearing loss’ refers to an individual losing their hearing as a result of being subjected to high levels of noise in the workplace.

Common symptoms of industrial deafness include:

  • Lack of hearing in one or both ears
  • Missing part or full sentences in conversations
  • Struggling to hear speech when there is background noise
  • Having to turn the television or radio up to a particularly high volume
  • Hearing a constant ringing, buzzing, whistling, hissing or droning sound in one or both ears (this usually refers to tinnitus)


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Causes of industrial deafness

Industrial deafness can occur when a person is subjected to loud noise. This is usually over a long period of time where the person was not wearing sufficient ear protection. In addition, hearing problems like acoustic shock can occur from being subjected to just one extremely loud noise.

There are certain occupations where workers are at a higher risk of developing industrial deafness.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Construction workers
  • Engineers
  • Factory workers

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