The world is filled with noise. Many times loud noises cannot be avoided especially when they are experienced on-the-job, but repeated exposure can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing protection is a key way to protect your ears from noise. Let’s look at noise you may experience at work and at home and how hearing protection is important.
According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) 22 million workers experience loud noise on the job each year. 58% of workers who experienced hearing health problems could have been prevented if the noise was reduced to safer levels. Wearing hearing protection plays a role in helping to reduce noise-induced hearing loss. Noise levels above 85 decibels can start to impact your hearing health. Some of the top industries for noise are mining, music, construction and manufacturing. Even restaurant music levels coupled with patron conversations can create an environment that puts workers hearing at risk.
Even at home noise levels can reach dangerous levels. Think about the lawn mower, even the blender and of course many power tools you use to make home repairs. Listening to music with earbuds, a favorite activity to relax and unwind at home, is also a noise risk to our hearing when listening is for long periods and at high volumes. Even some of our hobbies can expose our ears to damaging noise.
So what can you do to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss? First, wear ear protection. Many industries already have mandated rules for ear protection and companies issue gear to protect their workers’ ears, but earing protection doesn’t work unless you wear it. At home, remember ear plugs while mowing or doing other loud household activities. Finally, when it comes to headphone and ear bud use, turn the volume down and give your ears listening breaks.