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How Employees Can Protect Their Hearing at Work
It’s no secret that the vast majority of American workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels on a daily basis. However, what may be less known is that this exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss if left unchecked. In an effort to help employees protect their hearing while on the job, we’ve put together a list of tips that can make a big difference. Keep reading for more information!
Wear Ear Protection
Always wear hearing protection when exposed to hazardous noise levels. This is by far the most critical step you can take to protect your hearing at work. There are a variety of different types of hearing protection available, so be sure to choose the ones that best fit your needs. If you’re not sure what type of hearing protection is right for you, ask your employer for guidance.
They may also have specific protocols in place for how workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE), including hearing protection devices. It’s also important to remember that hearing protection isn’t just for those who are constantly exposed to loud noises. Even if you don’t work in a noisy environment, using earplugs or headphones while listening to music or watching TV can help protect your hearing in the long run. If you’re constantly exposed to noise levels that exceed 85 decibels (dBs), your employer should provide you with appropriate hearing protection.
It’s also important to take regular breaks from noisy environments. This gives your ears a chance to rest and helps reduce the risk of long-term damage. Ideally, it would be best if you took a break every two hours or so. During this time, step away from the noise and give your ears a chance to recover. You can also use this opportunity to eat lunch, drink some water, or catch up on emails.
If possible, try to avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings in noisy conference rooms. And if you do have to attend one, be sure to bring along some earplugs for protection. Breaks are also essential when using personal listening devices such as headphones or earbuds. Listening to high volumes for extended periods of time can lead to hearing loss, so be sure to take breaks every 20 minutes or so.
If you’re struggling to hear conversations in a noisy environment, don’t hesitate to ask for a break. Your employer should be understanding and accommodating, especially if you explain that you need some time to protect your hearing.
Maintain Healthy Hearing
In addition to taking steps to protect your hearing at work, it’s important to maintain healthy hearing overall. This means avoiding loud noises whenever possible and getting regular checkups from a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). If you do experience any symptoms of hearing loss, be sure to consult a HIS as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing further damage and preserving your hearing health.
Schedule Regular Checkups
In addition to maintaining healthy hearing, it’s important to get regular checkups from a hearing instrument specialist. This will help ensure that any potential problems are caught early and can be treated accordingly. If you do experience any symptoms of hearing loss, be sure to consult a HIS as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing further damage and preserving your hearing health.
How to Recognize Hearing Damage
There are a variety of different symptoms that may indicate hearing damage. These can include difficulty hearing conversations, ringing in the ears, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult a HIS as soon as possible. If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing hearing loss, there are a few simple tests you can do at home. One is to see if you can hear someone talking from across a room. Another is to cover one ear and see if it’s easier to hear with the other ear.
If your employer provides hearing protection, but you find that it’s not effective enough, don’t hesitate to ask for something else. There are a variety of different types of hearing protection devices available, so finding one that works well for you should be no problem.
By following these tips, employees can greatly reduce their risk of developing permanent hearing loss while on the job. However, should you feel like you may be experiencing some degree of hearing loss, feel free to get in contact with Stanwood Hearing at 360-502-4644. We’d be happy to perform a hearing test and discuss treatment options should they be necessary!