Spotting the early signs of some common work injuries can help you discuss your situation with your employer, change your work habits, or get help more quickly.
Here are some of the symptoms of some of the most common work injuries.
Image by Asbestorama
Symptoms Of Repetitive Strain Injury
Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI can creep up on you, and get progressively worse over time.
The main symptoms to watch out for are pain, stiffness, a throbbing sensation, numbness, weakness, and cramps.
You are especially likely to develop RSI in the arm, wrist and hands, as these are the parts of the body most likely to be used for repetitive tasks such as typing, clicking, or operating machinery.
Symptoms Of Stress
The symptoms of stress can be difficult to spot, as this is a mental health issue. When your mental health is compromised, the nature of the problem itself can make it harder to spot.
Even if you don’t believe you’re the ‘kind of person’ who suffers from stress, keep an open mind and watch out for all the symptoms of stress.
Physical symptoms of stress include stomach ulcers, upset stomach, headaches, tiredness, insomnia, unexplained aches and pains, rapid heartbeat, frequent illnesses from infections and colds, and common symptoms of nervousness.
Mental or behavioural symptoms of stress include constant worrying, forgetfulness, inability to focus, poor decision-making, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, poor self-esteem, being annoyed by other people and avoiding other people’s company.
Symptoms Of Hearing Problems
In addition to the obvious, noticeable issue, there can be other more subtle symptoms as your hearing starts to get worse.
If your hearing gets particularly bad on one side more than the other, your balance could be affected – this is because loud noises are thought to affect the inner ear, which controls balance, as well as the outer ear that takes care of hearing.
This means that symptoms of hearing problems caused specifically by loud noises, especially loud noises that usually come from your right or from your left, can include dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, blurred vision and more general confusion and disorientation.
You may also feel more tired and stressed than usual, as you have to struggle to concentrate on what people are saying to you.
Symptoms Of Concussion
Concussion is an important condition to diagnose immediately after an accident has occurred, as it is a traumatic brain injury and you will need to be monitored by healthcare professionals to make sure that your condition does not get any worse.
Symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, nausea, balance problems, confusion, temporary amnesia, glassy eyes, disturbed or blurred vision (such as ‘seeing stars’), slurred speech and inappropriate responses such as laughing frantically or bursting into tears.
Unconsciousness may be a brief symptom of concussion, but if the person has been knocked out for more than a few minutes you may wish to seek emergency medical treatment.
Following a concussion, you should still seek medical advice, but it is considered a mild traumatic brain injury on the Glasgow Coma Scale. If you have a moderate traumatic brain injury or worse you will need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms Of Asbestos Related Illness
Asbestos related illness covers four different conditions. Non-malignant pleural disease, Asbestosis, Asbestosis-related lung cancer and Mesothelioma are all caused by exposure to asbestos.
Non-malignant pleural disease is usually fairly harmless, if annoying, and includes symptoms such as chest pain. You are most likely to realise you have it after a hospital check-up, as it can be detected by some pieces of medical equipment. You may also see it referred to as a benign asbestos pleural disease.
Asbestosis is more serious than non-malignant pleural disease, and usually includes more noticeable symptoms. If you are suffering from frequent breathlessness, increased difficulty in exercising, clubbed nails, and soft crackles when you breathe in then you should seek medical advice. You may also find that you have some of the symptoms of pulmonary heart disease.
Lung cancer and mesothelioma have similar symptoms. Long-standing coughs that only get worse over time, coughing up blood, tiredness and lack of energy, clubbed nails, chest infections that stay for a long time or return repeatedly, a high temperature, pain swallowing, wheezing and chest or shoulder pain are common, serious symptoms of an asbestos-caused cancer. If you are already experiencing one of the less dangerous asbestos-related illnesses, the chances that you have one of these illnesses based on these symptoms rises significantly.
In the case of mesothelioma, you might also find that you have a significant loss of appetite and weight, and you might develop stomach problems such as constipation or diarrhoea.
What To Do Next
If you have more than one or two symptoms of the more serious conditions on this list then we would recommend seeking medical advice as quickly as possible. However, if you have symptoms of some of the milder conditions on this list, or only one symptom, we would still recommend seeking medical advice.
It is important not to panic, and if you find that you are reading a lot of lists of symptoms on a regular basis and diagnosing yourself with many different diseases, remember that the internet is a vast store of information and not all of it will apply directly to you.
If you find that you have a common work injury or illness, it could be your employer’s fault. Get in touch with LoyaltyLaw to find out if you are eligible for compensation.