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4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Occupational Hearing Loss

by James M. Hoffmann on Nov. 01, 2018

Employment Occupational Safety & Health Employment  Workers' Compensation 

Summary: One of the most common workplace injuries is hearing loss. The reason is that so many people work in environments with excessive noise.

One of the most common workplace injuries is hearing loss. The reason is that so many people work in environments with excessive noise. Doing so often results in damage to the ears, which leads to loss of hearing. Below, we present some ways to protect against this problem, why doing so matters, and a few clues to indicate that you have hearing issues.

 

The Top Methods For Protecting Hearing

Protecting your hearing is very straightforward. All you need to do is lessen the sound waves that hit your ear. There are 4 fundamental ways you can do so.

 

  • Reduce Exposure - This method is the simplest of all. What you can do to achieve it is separate yourself from loud noises. Adding a bit of distance between you and a source of sound will do a lot to dampen its damaging effects.

  • Wear Protective Equipment - If you cannot separate, your best option is wearing protective gear. This option is probably your best bet in a loud work environment because reducing exposure is sometimes not possible.

  • Turn Your Music Down - One less common trap that people fall into is listening to loud music. Some jobs allow employees to put headphones in during work hours, but people often take this privilege too far and blast their music. The result is permanent hearing damage.

  • Change Jobs - If you’re extremely worried about hearing loss, and may want to change jobs. This can come in the form of moving to a new area of your company or changing careers entirely.

 

Why it Matters

Hearing is something that you never fully appreciate until it's gone. Even worse, current health technology does not do a good job of helping people with these issues. The result is that if you lose your hearing, you likely will not get it back. Another factor that complicates these issues is how long it takes for hearing loss to become apparent. Most people don’t start to feel the effects for decades, and by then, it is often too late.

 

Clues That You are Losing Your Hearing

When you lose your hearing, you might not fully realize it until your problem has grown significantly. This is because hearing loss is a gradual process, rather than one that affects you abruptly. Luckily, you can watch out for symptoms and catch your issues early. The following are some common indicators to keep an eye on.

 

  • Trouble hearing telephone calls.

  • Not being able to follow a conversation where two people are talking at once.

  • People complaining about your preferred TV volume.

  • Noisy backgrounds compromise your ability to keep up in a conversation.


We hope that medical technology will eventually get to a point where anybody can regain their lost hearing. Unfortunately, those advancements are too far off to rely on. Instead, your best bet is changing your habits to protect yourself against hearing loss. Additionally, if your issues are severe already, you can speak with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer about obtaining workers comp benefits for your injury.

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