Did you know that working in a dangerously loud environment can affect your hearing? Yes, your job and work environment could be causing damage to your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing damage, and according to the CDC, over 35 million employees are at risk of unsafe noise exposure at their place of work. This is why people that work in loud, noisy environments need to learn more about work-related hearing safety and what can be done to help avoid any long term hearing loss problems.
Occupational hearing safety should be addressed with factual information and an open discussion between employers and employees. Employees should definitely educate themselves about the possible risks of hearing loss at their respective workplace. Here are several common jobs that can cause hearing loss:
NOTE: Even short term exposure at 130 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage. Sustained exposure to noise at 90 decibels can also result in hearing loss.
Hunters: As you may guess, hunters are always at risk for permanent hearing loss. That is why it is vital that hunters protect their ears from loud firearm noises and/or loud game calls. Gunshot noises can range from 120 to 190 dB depending on the weapon.
Manufacturing: A large number of workers in manufacturing facilities are regularly exposed to loud noises due to the heavy machinery and equipment being used which can generate up to 90 decibels.
Chemicals Industry: Contact with certain chemicals has been linked to hearing loss by itself. These particular compounds are now known to combine synergistically with noise resulting in increased hearing loss.
Construction: Construction workers actually rank pretty high when it comes to jobs that have high risks of causing hearing loss damage. Similar to workers in manufacturing facilities, they are exposed to machinery and other construction equipment that make extremely loud noises and without proper hearing protection; it can definitely harm one’s hearing.
Mining: Approx. 50% of male miners are predicted to have a hearing impairment by age 50 (according to the CDC).
Motorcycle Riders: A recent study showed motorcycle noise, under a variety of driving conditions at speeds between 45 mph to 65, noted that the sound measured varied from 70 to 128 decibels, and this is both with and without wearing helmets.
DJs, Bartenders, and other Nightclub Staff: Almost everyone that works in a nightclub including security, wait staff, bartenders and DJs are at risk for hearing loss. The average noise level for a typical nightclub can reach 96 decibels and sometimes even higher.
Musicians, Band, or Orchestra: Across practices, studio recordings and live shows, musicians are always surrounded by loud sounds. It is important for musicians to take the proper precautions to prevent any hearing damage, which can include wearing a custom hearing protector made for musicians.
Krista Szalc, Audiology, PLLC is here to help you with all your hearing needs. Whether you are a musician, construction worker or just a recreational hunter, we can offer you some tips on hearing loss prevention and help you avoid unnecessary hearing damage. Contact us today for more information or schedule an appointment at one of our multiple hearing center locations.