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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

Audiologist Monthly: 5 Common Sounds In The Workplace That May Be Hurting Your Hearing

Common sounds
Depending on where you work, there are some common sounds which may be damaging to your hearing. But, since these sounds are common, people tend to discount them as a potential problem.

1 – Construction Tools In Use

One workplace where hearing loss can commonly occur is in construction. The tools used by those in the construction trade often exceed 90 decibels (dB). As hearing damage begins at 85 dB, it is clear how easy it is for those working in construction to damage their hearing.

Yet, more often than not, those who work in construction do not wear proper ear protection and need hearing aids later in life. While the comfort and utility of hearing aids have significantly improved over the years, it is better to avoid needing them in the first place.

2 – Music With Headphone or Earbuds At Work

Those who work in an office setting or other white collar jobs may not consider themselves at risk for hearing loss dangers. But a simple danger which many people discount is the use of personal earbuds and headphones.

As our sound technology, it is possible to pipe loud music or other types of media directly to our sensitive ears at far higher volumes than should be used. These volume levels will damage the sensitive sound-transmitting hairs in your inner ear, causing hearing loss. We recommend you always set your volume to the lowest level possible and never exceed 60% of the max possible volume when using headphones or earbuds.

3 – Lawncare Machines Used For Work Or Home

Many lawn care professionals are surrounded by machines which emit high decibel sounds. These sounds are incredibly damaging over extended stretches of time, yet many lawn care workers neglect to wear ear protection. Some examples of the decibel range of lawn care equipment are below:

  • Lawnmower – 90-110 dB
  • Weedeater – 96-100 dB
  • Leaf blower – 100-115 dB
  • Edger – 80-90 dB

Those who operate these lawn care machines either for work or at home should always be careful to have hearing protection on when the equipment is in use. Regular hearing tests by a doctor of audiology are also a good way to assess how your hearing is performing.

4 – Hairdressers Need To Be Careful Around Blowdryers

It may be surprising, but something as simple as a blow dryer can be a common source of a damaging sound. As most blow dryers emit 90 dB, the threshold for hearing damage is around two hours of exposure. After that point, your hearing can be damaged.

While most of us will not have a hair dryer operating that long, hairdressers can suffer from hearing loss due to the need to continually operate a blow dryer as well as being surrounded by those who are also using one. If possible, take breaks away from where the hair dryers are being operated and use hearing protection when possible.

5 – Traffic On Your Way To Work Can Be Problematic

Just reaching your workplace can be a source of hearing damage. If you often have to commute in an urban area which experiences heavy traffic, we would recommend you wear earplugs to protect your hearing. You should to still be able to hear car horns and sirens, but they won’t be so shatteringly loud.

Even those who commute to work via public transport can have their hearing endangered, either by the traffic around them or the sounds levels of a subway in motion. We recommend wearing earplugs if you travel by public transit to protect your ears from the noise pollution.

There are other industries which require people to work with loud equipment. If you work in one of these industries, be sure to consult your workplaces personal protective equipment guidelines to learn the best way to protect yourself at work. For other questions concerning hearing protection or to receive top-quality hearing services, contact us today to set up an appointment.

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