Protecting your hearing is especially important because untreated hearing loss can negatively affect your personal and work lives. Statistics show that hearing damage is the most common type of employment injury and can take years to present symptoms.
Hearing protection devices reduce the intensity of sounds in your ears and include earplugs, over-ear headphones and custom hearing protection devices. You can reduce your risk of exposure to potentially hazardous noise levels and maintain your current hearing abilities by wearing appropriate hearing protection. Your audiologist will advise you of the best device based on your noise level exposure
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
This condition is a hearing impairment caused by short- or long-term exposure to loud sounds. Loud noises damage the tiny hairs in your inner ears, causing permanent hearing loss. Common sources of NIHL include concerts, restaurant and bar noise, emergency sirens and personal listening devices.
Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels, such as power tools, lawnmowers, construction traffic and even earbuds, can damage your hearing. Louder sounds like a gunshot (140 dB) may result in immediate NIHL. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 22 million American workers are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Noisy environments can occur anywhere, but workers in the manufacturing, construction, utility and mining industries are at particular risk.
Exposure to ototoxic chemicals can damage your hearing as well. Common ototoxic chemicals include mercury, lead, toluene and carbon monoxide.
How to Protect Your Ears
If you have already experienced hearing loss, you can take steps to minimize further damage. Wearing hearing protection devices while on the job and in other noisy environments will reduce your likelihood of developing NIHL.
If you work in a noisy environment or have worked in one in the past, you should schedule an annual hearing test to ensure your exposure to those noises haven’t affected your hearing.
Hearing protection is available in various styles, including disposable foam earplugs, over-ear headphones, earmuffs and custom hearing protection. For more information about our hearing tests and ear protection, call us at 888-832-9966 or contact us online.