Every year, about 2 million workplace injuries are documented. When you think of on-the-job injuries, you may think of flying projectiles or a hand caught in a piece of machinery at a factory.

But there is a much more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more common and often unnoticed. Over several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. Most individuals don’t even notice it’s happening until it becomes significant. People often make excuses. “It’s only temporary” or “I’m just getting older. This response is normal.

Many individuals don’t even realize it was caused by their workplace environment.

The insidious injury is damaged hearing. There are several warning signs you should recognize, and there are essential steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.

How Loud is Too Loud?

Sustained exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can cause long-term damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at around 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A chainsaw or leaf blower creates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.

Are you at risk when in your work environment? Is the most common workplace injury an issue for you? If you’re regularly exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing can become damaged over time.

Hearing Injury Signs

If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no doubt you’re damaging your hearing.

What follows is are early warning signs that you’re dealing with hearing loss:

  • Conversations sound muffled.
  • You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
  • You hear ringing, whistling, or hissing even when it’s quiet.
  • You suspect people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
  • You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
  • You regularly ask people to repeat what they said.
  • People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
  • Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
  • When people speak, you tend withdraw.

What Are Employers Doing to Lessen Hearing Damage?

Businesses and organizations are using the latest technology to lessen workplace noise in overly loud environments. Workplace noise will be reduced as new guidelines are being put in place by governments to safeguard workers.

As more employees become aware of the chronic damage they have suffered due to workplace noise, they are coming forward. With time, their voices will result in further change.

Preventing Additional Damage

If you work in a loud environment, the best thing you can do is safeguard 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 as soon as possible if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. You will learn how to avoid additional damage when you determine how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We address any hearing damage you already have and develop strategies to help you prevent any further damage.

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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.
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