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Deafness Research UK Study Welcomed By Hearing Loss Expert

Project To Consider Earlier Detection Of Problems


By Rob Dixon

The launch of a new project to consider learning more about noise-induced hearing loss has been welcomed by experts who specialise in helping those who have developed such conditions as a result of safety failings at work.

Deafness Research UK has announced it is funding a project led by the University of Manchester which will investigate several issues including whether early changes in hearing caused by occupational noise exposure can be reliably detected.

It follows recent studies on animals which have suggested that permanent hearing damage can emerge before any changes are picked up by audiometry tests – the approach currently used to check a person’s hearing.

The new study into the area has been backed by Louise Scott, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping those affected by noise-induced hearing loss and also a committee member for the Birmingham & District Tinnitus Group.

Commenting on the plans, she said: “I regularly see the long-term impact that hearing loss caused by safety failings at work, often simply caused by employers failing to provide suitable equipment to keep people safe from potential harm.

“This research is a positive step towards considering how current testing related to hearing loss can be improved, with an ultimate aim of identifying problems earlier and ensuring the earliest possible warning signs can be following when it comes to treatment.

“It is also vital that such a project helps to raise awareness of this overall issue, which is something that many people often underestimate the impact of.

“Like many other people with an interest in this area, we will be watching the outcome of the research closely.”

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