About two million workplace injuries are reported each year. Usually, we think of a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is much more insidious and frequently goes unreported. Over a few years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The majority of people don’t even detect it’s occurring until it becomes significant. People typically make excuses. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
The insidious injury is hearing damage. There are a number of warning signs you should identify, and there are significant steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “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 example, is the average volume of a vacuum. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A chainsaw or leaf blower creates over 100 dB. A gunshot is about 140 dB.
How loud is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most common workplace injury? 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.
Symptoms of Hearing Damage
You’re definitely harming your hearing if you work in a noisy environment without hearing protection.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- You feel pain when you hear loud sounds.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- Your family and friends tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- When people speak, you tend withdraw.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You think people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves when they talk.
- You’re hearing sounds in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud settings. Government agencies are endeavoring to modify guidelines that will decrease workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the chronic damage they have endured due to workplace noise, they are coming forward. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Further Damage
If you work in a loud environment, the smartest thing you can do is protect your ears before any damage is done. Potential damage will be decreased by using protective earplugs or earmuffs.
Make an appointment for a hearing test right away if you believe a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will learn how to avoid added damage when you determine how much hearing damage you have. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid additional hearing loss and deal with the damage you’ve already experienced.