Tinnitus and Hearing Health Calgary, Calgary AL

“Man

Your hearing can be damaged by a noisy workplace and it can also impact your focus. Your hearing health can be negatively affected by even moderate levels of noise if you’re exposed to it for several hours every day. That’s why it’s pretty smart to start asking questions like, “what level of hearing protection do I need”?

It isn’t common knowledge that several levels of hearing protection are available. But it makes sense when you stop to consider it. A jet engine mechanic will need a different level of protection than a truck driver.

Hearing Damage Levels

The standard rule of thumb is that 85 decibels (dB) of sound can start damaging your ears. We aren’t really used to considering sound in terms of decibels (even though that’s how we measure sound – it just isn’t a number we’re used to putting into context).

Eighty-five decibels is approximately how loud city traffic is when you’re driving your car. That’s not a big deal, right? Actually, it’s rather significant. At least, it’s a big deal after eight hours. Because the frequency and duration of exposure are extremely important when it comes to damaging exposure to noise.

Typical Danger Zones

If you’re exposed to 85 dB of noise for eight hours a day or more, you need to consider using hearing protection. But that’s not the only threshold you need to be aware of. If you’re exposed to:

  • 90 dB (e.g., lawnmower): Damage will start to happen to your ears if you’re exposed to this volume of noise for 4 hours a day.
  • 100 dB (e.g., power tools): Your ears will be injured when exposed to this noise level for 1 hour a day.
  • 110 dB (e.g., leaf blower): Injury to your hearing occurs after 15 minutes of exposure to this noise level.
  • 120 dB (e.g., rock concert): If your exposed to this noise level for any length of time, your hearing can be damaged.
  • 140 dB (e.g., jet engine): Any exposure can lead to damage and might even cause instant pain.

You’ll want the ear protection you choose to be sufficient to bring the decibel level below that 85 dB level, especially if you are exposed to those noises for any amount of time.

Find a Comfortable Fit

The effectiveness of ear protection is quantified by something called a Noise Reduction Rate, or NRR. Outside sound will become progressively quieter the higher the NRR.

The majority of workplaces will have guidelines as to what level of protection will keep your ears safe because it’s important to have the correct protection.

Comfort is also an important factor to think about. It’s really essential that your hearing protection is comfortable to wear if you want to keep your hearing safe. Why? Because if your hearing protection isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to wear it.

Hearing Protection Options

You’ve got three basic options to choose from:

  • Earplugs that stay just outside of the ear canal.
  • Earplugs that go within the ear canal
  • Earmuffs.

Each form of protection has benefits and drawbacks, but personal preference is often the deciding factor. For some individuals, earplugs are uncomfortable, so earmuffs may be a better choice. Other individuals might value the leave-them-in-and-forget-them strategy of earplugs (of course, at the end of the workday you will need to take them out for a good cleaning).

Consistently Use Protection That Works Best For You

Comfort is significant because any lapse in your hearing protection can lead to damage. If earmuffs are scratchy and uncomfortable you’re more likely to remove them for short periods and that can have a negative effect on your hearing over time. So the most crucial decision you can make is to select hearing protection that you’re comfortable leaving in place during your workday.

You’re ears will remain healthier and happier if you choose the correct level of hearing protection for your situation.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment



References

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today