Each year, around 2 million workplace injuries are documented. Usually, we think about a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But the most common workplace injury is a lot more pernicious and often goes unreported. Over the course of a few years, it will sneak up gradually on people. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to overlook. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It’s just part of aging” or “It’s a temporary problem”. This response is common.
Many individuals don’t even recognize it was related to their workplace environment.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are some significant steps you should take if you detect any of the numerous warning signs.
How Loud is Too Loud?
Regular exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can result in permanent damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 100 dB. A gunshot is about 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Is the most common workplace injury an issue 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 constant.
Hearing Injury Signs
You’re absolutely damaging your hearing if you work in a noisy environment without hearing protection.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling when it should be quiet.
- You often ask people to repeat what they said.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You tend to withdraw when people are talking.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- When you speak with people you constantly believe they are mumbling
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are working with the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud environments. Workplace noise will be decreased as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
As more employees become aware of the recurring damage they have suffered as a consequence of workplace noise, they are coming forward. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Further Damage
Protecting your ears before they become damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Wearing protective headphones or earplugs while at work will help decrease potential damage.
If you think your hearing has been injured by a noisy workplace, schedule a hearing test as soon as you can. You will learn how to prevent further damage when you determine how much hearing damage you have. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and formulate strategies to help you prevent any additional damage.