Each year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are documented. When you think of on-the-job injuries, you might think of flying projectiles or a hand pulled into a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is much more pernicious and commonly goes unreported. Over the course of several years, it will sneak up gradually on people. The injury goes unnoticed until the symptoms become impossible to disregard. People often make excuses. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This response is normal.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was caused by their workplace environment.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are some essential steps you should take if you recognize any of the numerous warning signs.
How Loud is Too Loud?
Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged with prolonged exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 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? If you’re regularly exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Signs of Hearing Damage
You’re definitely 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:
- You tend to withdraw when others are talking.
- When you talk with people you constantly believe they are mumbling
- Loud noises cause pain in your ears.
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling even when it’s quiet.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
In settings that are really loud, technology is being used by businesses or organizations to reduce workplace noise. Government agencies are endeavoring to update recommendations that will reduce workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the chronic damage they have suffered due to workplace noise, they are speaking out. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they are damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Potential damage will be reduced by wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Make an appointment for a hearing exam right away if you think a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. You will discover how to prevent further damage when you find out how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid additional hearing loss and manage the damage you’ve already experienced.