Noise Induced Hearing Loss can affect many areas of your life. Without a thorough understanding of your ears, and the delicate nature of them, it is easy for you to take your hearing for granted and fail to ensure they receive proper protection.
A terrible symptom of Noise Induced Hearing Loss is you may not even notice you are suffering from it, as it is often a gradual process. For example you could be finding it difficult to hear conversations with friends and family or others may complain that you have your TV on too loud. In many cases people do not realise that they have a hearing defect, however a simple hearing assessment can determine a patient’s hearing health. National statistics show that half of over 60 year olds are suffering from some form of deafness, some as a result of having worked in industries such as engineering, construction, printing and agriculture.
The most common causes of workplace hearing loss include:
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
This is a severe deterioration of a person’s hearing due to excessive and long-term exposure to loud noise in a work environment. Specifically, the constant bombardment of noise damages and essentially kills off the tiny hairs that help us hear in the first place. These hairs are not reproduced and so the level of hearing is constantly decreasing. Noise Induced Hearing Loss tends to come in two forms:
Gradual Hearing Loss
This can occur over many years and the most common cause is consistent noise in the workplace. So if your job involves using loud equipment such as machinery, amps, speakers and presses, or tools such as jackhammers, drills or chainsaws, it is worth having a hearing assessment to see if this is happening to you.
Sudden Hearing Loss
Sudden Hearing Loss can be from a traumatic event such as a loud bang or explosion and is generally permanent, with an immediate and noticeable loss of hearing.
This is a continuous ringing or buzzing in the ear, caused by long-term exposure to excessive levels of noise. For some sufferers, tinnitus can be a constant problem and lead to mental problems on top of damaged hearing.
It is natural for you to become stressed or worried if you begin to notice the symptoms of tinnitus, but it’s important to keep a calm and level head. Sufferers can often feel frustrated and like no one else understands their plight, however there are various national help groups such as the British Tinnitus Association who can offer you support and advice on how to cope.
This is due to a disturbance to the function of the ear by a sudden or sharp rise in acoustic pressure, which can be permanent or temporary depending on the level it rises. With the increase in call centre workers over recent years there has been a significant increase of people tested where acoustic shock has been the main source of hearing loss in this industry, as it occurs when there is a high pitched noise on a telephone line. This can be caused by faulty headphones, switchboards or lines that have caused loud feedback directly into the employee’s ear.