Every year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are documented. When you think about on-the-job injuries, you might think of flying projectiles or a hand caught in a piece of machinery at a factory.
But there is a much more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more prevalent and frequently undetected. It sneaks up on people really slowly over the course of several years. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to disregard. People typically make excuses. “It’s just part of growing older” or “It’s a temporary issue”. This is normal.
Many individuals don’t even recognize it was caused by their workplace environment.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are a number of warning signs you should identify, and there are essential steps you need to take if you suspect the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Regular exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can trigger long-term damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower delivers 85 dB. A leaf blower or chainsaw creates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
How loud is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most common workplace injury? If you’re frequently exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Hearing Damage Signs
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no doubt you’re damaging your hearing.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- You experience pain when you hear loud noises.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- When you talk with people you always think they are mumbling
- You tend to withdraw when people are talking.
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- Your friends and family tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too high.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
In environments that are very loud, technology is being used by businesses or organizations to reduce workplace noise. Workplace noise will be decreased as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to safeguard workers.
Employees are coming forward as they become mindful of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. Over time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Additional Damage
Protecting your ears before they become damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Potential damage will be minimized by wearing protective earplugs or earmuffs.
If you believe your hearing has been damaged by a noisy workplace, make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible. You will learn how to prevent further damage when you determine how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We can help you develop strategies to protect against additional hearing loss and address the damage you’ve already experienced.