According to one study, teachers are at a higher risk of hearing loss compared to workers in other fields.
We all know hearing loss is one of the most common occupational illnesses affecting workers in various industries. However, when we think of hearing loss risk, we often think of workers in the construction and manufacturing industry. The reality is that workers in some other professions such as teachers are also at risk.
Ringing bells, slamming lockers, chattering students, and announcements over the PA system are all sounds that teachers are exposed to on daily basis and throughout the day. It is needless to say that these sounds are often an overlooked danger for teachers. A recent study has shown that teachers are at a high risk of developing occupational noise induced hearing loss.
While historically, researchers have always centered their attention on other professions such as construction and manufacturing, it has been established that compared to many other professions, teachers have a higher rate of diagnosed hearing loss.
Most teachers understand the risks posed by violence and guns in schools, however, they still consider their job to be relatively safe as far as other hazards are concerned. They fail to understand that the noise that they are exposed to on a daily basis puts them at a high risk of hearing loss.
Study shows teachers at high risk of occupational hearing loss
According to a study conducted by the Wakefield Research for EPIC Hearing Healthcare, teachers are at a higher risk of hearing loss compared to workers in other fields. Key findings of this research include:
- 15 percent of teachers report diagnosed hearing problem compared to 12 percent of the workers in other fields
- 27 percent teachers think that they have a hearing problem, but have not sought medical treatment
- 26 percent of teachers in the age group of 18-44 years report hearing problems compared to just 17 percent of other workers
In the study, several teachers admitted that they have to ask people to repeat themselves, feel fired, have problems understanding people, and are stressed from the long periods of listening and talking to students and other people because of their hearing problems.
Teachers often fail to seek medical treatment due to concerns about the high cost of hearing aids, which are often not covered by health insurance. They are also concerned about potential stigma of having a hearing impairment. Despite all the reservations that the teachers may have, they should seek timely medical treatment. Failure to do so may cause the problem to aggravate, and they may develop an even higher degree of hearing impairment.
If you are a teacher who has developed hearing loss as a result of your work environment, you may be entitled to Missouri workers compensation benefits. However, in such cases, it is often difficult to convince the insurers that the hearing loss is indeed work-related. Give our experienced attorneys a call today at (816) 256-4300 for a free case evaluation.