Do you ever hear a strange ringing in your ear? According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a rather common problem that affects 15-20% of people.
Now, for most people, tinnitus isn’t always something serious. It’s more annoying than anything else. However, if you experience it for a long time, you can also risk suffering from:
- Memory issues
- Contraction problems
And if your tinnitus is caused by work, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Still, many workers may understandably wonder if this condition is eligible.
What Causes Your Ears to Ring?
Some factors raise your risk of developing tinnitus:
- Age – as you get older, the nerves in your years lose some of their strength and can cause some hearing problems
- Heart problems – any sort of condition that impacts blood flow can lead to tinnitus
- Smoking – the toxins released in your body through smoking can make blood cells lose their ability to get oxygen to certain areas of your body, including your ears
- Loud noise exposure – if you are constantly exposed to loud noises, that can damage your sensory hair cells in the ear that are tasked with transferring sound to your brain.
If you work in a loud environment, such as where a lot of power tools are used, or even night clubs, and do not wear protective equipment to keep your ears healthy, it’s possible to develop tinnitus over time.
Can You Get Compensation?
Yes, tinnitus treatments (or treatment for their complications) are generally covered under worker’s comp. However, you should know that by law only the injuries or conditions that have directly resulted from your job are covered.
And with tinnitus, that may be difficult to prove, since tinnitus can be caused by a lot of lifestyle factors as well. For example, if you smoke, are older, recurrently listen to music with headphones on a loud volume, or have a heart condition, these can also be possible reasons why you have tinnitus. If the insurance company also knows of these things, they may try to push back because they’re not in the business of covering all your medical costs.
This is why a lot of people with tinnitus may face some resistance when it comes to worker’s comp. It’s not that the condition is not eligible per se, but unless they have a strong case that proves their condition is work-related, the insurance company will fight back.
Pursuing Workers’ Compensation
If your work activity left you with bothersome ringing in your ears, don’t ignore it. Over time, it can lead to other, more serious conditions. Get in touch with a St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible to find out what you need to do in order to get compensated. The insurance company may try to push back, but a lawyer can ensure your legal rights are protected.