Each year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are reported. When you think about on-the-job injuries, you may think of flying projectiles or a hand pulled into a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is a lot more insidious and commonly goes unreported. Over several years, it will sneak up gradually on people. Most individuals don’t even recognize it’s occurring until it becomes significant. Excuses are a normal reaction. “It’s just part of the aging process” or “It’s not a permanent issue”. This isn’t unusual.
Many people don’t even recognize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are some essential steps you should take if you detect any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Regular exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. A chainsaw or leaf blower generates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when you’re at work? Is the most common workplace injury a problem for you? Over time, your hearing can be damaged if you are regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous.
Signs of Hearing Damage
If you work in a loud environment, there’s no doubt you’re damaging your hearing.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- Your friends and family tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too high.
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- Loud noises cause pain in your ears.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- You suspect people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
In settings that are really loud, technology is being put to use by organizations and businesses, to reduce workplace noise. Government agencies are endeavoring to modify guidelines that will reduce workplace noise and protect employees.
Employees are coming forward as they become aware of the chronic damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
If you work in a noisy setting, the smartest thing you can do is protect your ears before any damage is done. Wearing protective headphones or earplugs while at work will help reduce potential damage.
If you believe your hearing has been injured by a noisy workplace, make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as you can. When you determine the degree of your hearing loss, you will find out how to prevent further damage going forward. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and develop strategies to help you prevent any further damage.