What is Acoustic Shock?
Acoustic shock is a condition that is caused by an extremely loud noise known as the acoustic incident. The suddenness and volume of certain noises can be very traumatic and cause people to experience a number of symptoms.
The most obvious symptom is temporary deafness and tinnitus (constant ringing in the ear) which may continue for long periods or indefinitely. Due to other ongoing symptoms that can occur such as a burning sensation or sharp pains in the ear, acoustic shock can lead to metal health issues such as depression and anxiety.
How do I get Acoustic Shock?
Acoustic shock can be caused by feedback oscillation, fax tones and signalling tones. It most commonly occurs in call centre staff that are using headsets. Using headsets all day increases the likelihood of someone being exposed to a loud, unexpected noise. Many modern call centre headsets are developed to restrict high levels of sound that are transmitted down the phone however it has been reported that in some cases, acoustic shock can still occur.
Musicians can also be at high risk due to the excessive levels of noise that occur when practicing or performing. A viola player who was exposed to over 130db of sound during a rehearsal has made a successful claim for acoustic shock. The details of this case can be found here.
What to do if you have Acoustic Shock
Visiting a GP or more importantly an audiologist as soon as you notice symptoms is key as early diagnosis can prevent the escalation of symptoms. If your acoustic shock is work related we would advise not returning to certain duties until the symptoms have cleared up completely. It has been noted that the mere presence of a headset on the ears can induce acoustic shock.
If you do work in a call centre it is important to check that your employer has headsets that restrict the sound to protect you when your return to work and just as importantly, to make sure your colleagues are also protected.
It is important to seek legal advice if somebody else is at fault for your acoustic shock. A claim against a liable party ensures that the person or company responsible is brought to justice and also ensures that they will take future steps to prevent this from happening again.
Can I claim compensation for Acoustic Shock?
It is possible to bring a claim for acoustic shock and Roberts Jackson Solicitors can help with the process. We deal with thousands of hearing loss claims every year and have some of the top industrial disease solicitors in the UK. All of our cases are run a No Win, No Fee agreement and there is no obligation to pursue the claim if you are simply just curious at this stage.
If you have been diagnosed with acoustic shock from an incident that has happened at work feel free to contact us today.