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Industrial deafness » Deafness and pilots

Industrial deafness is normally associated with loud, land-based occupations such as the construction industry and concert halls. But professionals operating at height, like pilots, can also experience excessive exposure to the kind of excessive noise associated with hearing loss.

Ear pressure imbalances

A plane can be an extremely noisy place. The engine roar inside the cabin, the sound of passengers and radio messages can all contribute to hearing loss. Rapid increases and decreases in altitude can pain from the formation of air pockets in the middle portions of the ear.

To balance ear pressure, doctors advise pilots to clear their sinuses by, effectively, plugging the nose and blowing until the eardrums pop. Other options include yawning and swallowing. Without taking steps to equalise pressure, the tympanic membrane could rupture, causing hearing loss.

Fighter pilots in particular can experience health problems, especially during rapid acceleration and when executing tight turns at high speed. When this happens, extreme gravity conditions pull blood away from the brain and heart and into the lower body as well as affecting the ears.

There have been a number of recent instances of pilots successfully pursuing no win, no fee deafness compensation claims.

Preventative measures pilots can take

Doctors can frequently check for hearing loss and usually encourage pilots to wear earplugs or headphones to buffer engine noise and give better hearing protection. Some earplugs available for purchase can be found at www.allearplugs.com

Hearing loss or industrial deafness does not disqualify somebody from flying, however. Deaf and hard of hearing people have flown planes alone around the world since aviation began. Read more at www.deafpilots.com

The UK Council on Deafness has more information on deafness and the Disability Discrimation Act at www.deafcouncil.org.

Making an industrial deafness compensation claim

Although sophisticated technology makes it possible for people who are deaf to remain employed and become extremely successful in their career, even as a fighter pilot, this does not mean that they should have to accept partial or complete hearing loss as being part of the job.

Pilots can claim work accident compensation for hearing loss which has resulted from hazards in their working environments. If you have industrial deafness as a result of your work, you could be able to make a personal injury claim.

Discuss your claim by calling us now on 01582 437070 to enquire about a personal injury compensation claim for industrial deafness.