Hearing Protection Tips
Hearing loss affects around 15% of American adults. That means around 37.5 million people ages 18 and over report some sort of trouble hearing. With such large numbers in the United States alone, one might wonder what can be done to prevent hearing loss. Although most people experience hearing loss at some point in their lives, there are many things that can be done for prevention. It is important to understand the nature of hearing loss. We should also understand the many ways we can protect the hearing ability we currently have. Here are some hearing protection tips to help extend your years of unassisted hearing.
The workplace can be a real source of concern. The harsh sound in a very noisy workplace can harm an employee. Not just that, but in turn, it causes a serious issue for the employer who lets it happen. For example, if a person works with many loud sounds that can damage hearing, protection starts by limiting exposure to these sounds. Depending on the exact level of noise being put out at the workplace, it may be possible to limit the time working in that environment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines for the amount of time an employee can be exposed to sound at different levels of volume. This begins with eight hours at a relatively low noise level of 90 decibels. Each step louder from that baseline will limit the allowable time spent at work. If the noise in the workplace is 95 decibels, a worker should only spend 4 hours working per day in that location. At very loud levels, such as 110 decibels, work must be limited to a half-hour, and any sound 115 decibels or above can only be tolerated for 15 minutes per day. Apple has many apps on its App Store to download so you can measure noise in your workplace. Google also has the same thing in its Google Play Store.
Hearing Protection Options
When it comes to wearing hearing protection, basic disposable earplugs are a good starting point. Options are always improving for earplugs and noise-canceling earmuffs. They should be worn at noisy places of work but also, anywhere the volume level is high enough to cause damage. A few obvious places would be music events, concerts, and nightclubs. But, some of the environments that emit damaging levels of noise might surprise you. Public transportation in many cities can cause hearing damage, particularly those with very old rail systems. Restaurants are another surprising place where hearing damage can take place. The din of voices and the reverberation of clanging plates can be quite loud. This is even more significant for those who work in these environments day-in and day-out.
There are more advanced options for hearing protection available as well. For those who work in noisy locations and don’t need to communicate on the job, noise-canceling earmuffs may be a good option. These devices will block a very large amount of noise from the environment, protecting your hearing from damage. However, they block the entire sound. This makes it nearly impossible to talk to someone while wearing them.
Custom Earmolds from a Hearing Professional
Audiologists and hearing specialists offer hearing protection made to fit the shape of the outer ear. These personal earplugs allow some levels of sound to come through but also limits the very damaging sounds. They lower the overall level of volume as well. Because of this, a person should still be able to carry on a conversation and protect their hearing at the same time. These earplugs are particularly useful for musicians because the musician is able to hear the sound of the instruments, while still limiting the damaging effects.
If you live or work somewhere that exposes you to damaging sound, take these steps right away to protect yourself. Limiting the amount of time you spend in these loud situations is helpful. Better still, hearing protection is the most effective option for preserving your hearing ability. Contact us at Hearing Group if you are interested in custom-fitted earplugs that are molded to your outer ear. These devices can save your hearing ability long into the future, so don?t delay!