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Hearing Loss: The Most Common Workplace Injury

by April Maguire

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

Oftentimes, we think of hearing loss as a condition that happens naturally as we age. To some degree, this is true. The delicate hair-like cells in the inner ear do degrade over time, making seniors more susceptible to hearing problems. However, there is another type of hearing loss that is still all too common: noise-induced hearing loss. In fact, the problem is so widespread that hearing loss is now the most common occupational injury.

Noise in the Workplace

As the name describes, noise-induced hearing loss occurs when your ears are exposed to excessively loud noises. Remember those delicate hearing cells that deteriorate as we age? Well, they can also be easily damaged on extremely loud worksites, and once they're destroyed, there's no way to regrow these all-important cells or naturally regain the hearing ability that has been lost.

In general, certain industries are more prone to workplace hearing loss. Among the most dangerous are the construction and farming industries, where heavy machinery emits sounds well in excess of the 100 decibels needed to cause hearing loss. Other jobs, however, can be just as dangerous. Working in a club or music venue can expose your ears to excessively loud noise. Additionally, mechanics, machinists and military members are at an increased risk.

Preventative Measures

The good news in all of this is that workplace-related hearing loss is almost entirely preventable. If you know that you work in a noisy environment, then there are simple preventative measures you can take, such as wearing earplugs or earmuffs to block out harmful sounds. Also, experts recommend that workers step away from their work area and give their ears a break several times throughout the day. Even if you're using hearing protection, giving your ears the relaxing safety of silence can work wonders.

More and more, employers are becoming aware of the problems that noisy workplaces pose. Even if your company doesn't post signage or take steps to increase awareness, they may still offer protective devices, such as earplugs, for you to use on the job site. Alternatively, if you believe the sound levels at your work may be hazardous and protective devices aren't available, talk to your higher-ups and see if what kind of preventative measures can safely and easily be implemented.

No matter how you go about it, your hearing is worth protecting. Hearing loss has been linked to memory loss, emotional problems and even dementia later in life. So take steps to preserve your hearing now, and hopefully you can keep hearing loss from hampering your quality of life in the future.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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