Hearing loss is a part of growing older for most people and can’t be prevented. However, the other form of hearing loss which is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, can be avoided with a little consideration and care.
Of all the physical health ailments faced by factory workers, hearing issues remain the most common. In fact, an estimated 1 billion workers in Australia are exposed to hazardous levels of noise at work.
Though people working in manufacturing factories or construction sites may get used to the loud and invasive noise over time, continuous exposure to the dangerous levels of noises while working in such environments can impair the quality of your hearing or lead to hearing loss.
That said, stated below are some hearing protection tips for people exposed to a noisy work environment.
Carry your hearing protection to work daily
If loud noises are a regular occurrence at your workplace, equip yourself with specialised industrial earplugs or ear muffs to protect your hearing.
If you already have a hearing loss or are at risk of it, it is advisable to consult with a hearing professional to find a high quality, effective hearing protection solution that fits your work environment and your specific needs.
When it comes to hearing protection, there is a diverse range of assistive hearing devices out there including in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear, behind-the-ear and invisible hearing aids. Your hearing specialist will help you find the right solution based on the degree and type of your hearing loss and your workplace setting.
Get your hearing tested regularly
Factory and industry workers are always advised to visit their hearing specialist for regular hearing checks to assess their hearing.
Even if you don’t incur any potent signs indicating that your hearing is impaired, you want to consider having your hearing tested by a professional once in a while.
The earlier hearing issues are detected, the easier it is to control damage and prevent the condition from getting worse.
Be careful with listening to music
Many workers avoid ear plugs and put on iPods or other music devices to drown out loud noises in the background. This hearing protection practice can actually backfire.
Instead of listening to your favourite tunes through headphones or earphones at high volume to cover up the background noise, use noise-cancelling earphones, which reduce the overall strain on your hearing due to loud noise.
Do not insert anything inside your canal
Many factory workers stick cotton swabs or stick-like object into their ears to avoid loud noise without knowing that it can damage their hearing instead of protecting it.
Sometimes, such objects can go too far into the canal and puncture your ear drum or may create a build-up of ear wax and debris by pushing them further inside your canal. So, avoid putting anything in your canal and use only a protection suggested by your hearing professional.
Remember that damage from noise-induced hearing impairment can’t be reversed. Adhere to the above-mentioned guidelines to protect your hearing in a noisy workplace and communicate and engage fully in your life.