Just as eating right keeps you fit and healthy or wearing a helmet while skiing or cycling keeps you safe, protecting yourself from occupational hearing loss or other hearing problems is crucial. You may suffer from noise-induced hearing loss as a result of noise in the workplace like heavy machinery or motors.
Louder sounds damage your hearing in a shorter time span. For example, without the appropriate ear protection, you can damage your hearing by running a chainsaw for just two minutes.
Hearing Protection is Required for Individuals Such as:
What Types of Sounds Are Dangerous To Your Ears?
Sounds that are louder than 85 decibels (dB) like industrial workplaces sounds, music, and gunfire can eventually result in permanent loss of hearing. How loud is 85 dB?
Have a look at the decibel ratings and advisable exposure time that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, provide. This information will give you a better idea of this aspect.
Intensities of Common Sounds in Decibels
|Sounds||Intensities||Permissible exposure time|
|City Traffic, inside the car||85 dB||8 hours|
|Heavy Duty Tractor||88 dB||4 hours|
|Live Concert||91 dB||2 hours|
|Lawnmower||94 dB||1 hour|
|Nightclub||97 dB||30 minutes|
|Ambulance Siren, inside car window down||100 dB||15 minutes|
|Leaf Blower||115 dB||30 seconds|
How You Can Mitigate Occupational Hearing Loss
According to the statistics provided by NIOSH, roughly 22 million U.S workers have constant exposure to harmful noise levels at work. Approximately $242 million is spent per year on workers’ compensation as a result of a loss of hearing. To minimize noise-induced hearing loss, NIOSH recommends that workers' exposure to noise should be below specific levels.
You can suffer from long term hearing loss after being exposed to constant loud sounds all day at work. Sudden and extreme noise bursts over 90 decibels like gunfire, motorcycles, lawn equipment, woodworking, loud music, and industrial noises are significantly more harmful than moderate levels of noise over an extended period.
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What Hearing Protection Works Best For Recreational Shooters and Hunters?
Approximately 50 percent of recreational shooters can develop some form of hearing loss. Gunfire exceeds 130 decibels, which is why proper ear protection is essential to prevent loss of hearing and permanent damage.
Hunters have to be able to hear soft sounds while protecting themselves from the harsh noise levels of a gunshot. This is why they have several ear protectionoptions that include custom ear-plugs or earmuffs. There are other devices that help amplify sounds while reducing the sound of the gunfire.
Electronic earplugs can enhance sound in your immediate surroundings. For example, although you can hear game movement, the additional impulse sound of gunfire can be reduced to a safe level. You can either opt for custom molds or standard ones, that are less expensive.
When Does Law Enforcement Require Hearing Protection?
If you're a member of law enforcement, proper hearing is incredibly essentialto help you perform your job effectively. Several law enforcement personnelexperience some form of temporary reduced hearing once a weapon has been fired. If it hasn't happened yet, there may come a time when you or your partner might have to fire the weapon in a confined area. This can result in extensive damage to your hearing and in some instances, even irreversible loss of hearing.
How do Musicians Protect Hearing?
As professional musicians work in a high decibel environment, they can suffer from hearing loss, hypersensitivity to sound, sound distortion, and tinnitus. Traditional earplugs are relatively ineffective for professional musicians as they work by reducing sound by muffling mid-range frequencies.
However, custom earmolds may prove to be a lot more effective. They protect musicians' ears without distorting the sound they hear. Several additional in-ear monitors are capable of enhancing the music's experience and protect the ears as well. They will prove to be useful, whether you're a professional or just a music aficionado.