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How To Protect Your Ears At Work

06 May. 2022
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Sound signals reach our ears due to the movement of the molecules repelling each other. If the sound waves produced are below a certain decibel, they do not cause hearing disturbances. However, as sound intensifies above a certain decibel, damage your inner ear structure can occur, and it can also affect your cognitive functions when exposed for a long time.

Sound is the most one of the most important senses. Although many people live perfectly normal and happy lives without the use of there ears, everyone has a responsibility to protect ther hearing as much as possible.

The Importance of Protecting Your Ears

If you work in a noisy environement, some hearing problems occur, tinnitus is very common among workers who are exposed to high decibel sounds for a long time.

According to a study conducted on the workers of an automobile manufacturer factory in Thailand, it has been revealed that sound waves above 80 decibels cause serious damage to the ear.

Workers exposed to high decibels of noise suffer can also from depression, low mood, and anxiety. Being exposed to high-decibel sound intensity for a long time causes the brain to actively identify that sound and react accordingly.

In addition, some people's hearing thresholds are quite low, while others are higher. The level of tolerance for loud noise also differs from person to person so it is important to respect your threshold and project your ears accordingly.

How To Protect Your Ears

It is a necessity for the health of workers who work on average 80-90 decibels to use these types of equipment. Prolonged exposure to high-decibel sound intensity may even render your ears permanently damaged.

Earplugs

Earplug are a standard go-to for ear protection. Earplugs are the most important thing for workers working in loud environments. Since earplugs cover your ear with an airtight seal, they aim to cut any external noise completely and minimize the sound coming especially loud and noisey machines.

In addition, earplugs can be used for people who want to prevent normal and low level environmental sounds. These earplugs provide better protection than over-the-ear earplugs as they fit snugly into the ear canal, but can be irritating for some.

Headphones

Headphones are an alternative for those who find earlpug uncomfortable. Thanks to the high sound isolation capability of overhead ear-type sound barriers, headphones ensure that you are not exposed to damaging sound levels even while using heavy construction machinery.

The airtightness of your headphones is the most important point here because sound signals reach your ear by pushing molecules in the air. For this reason, a well-insulated headset will provide you with the quiet working environment you need.

Sources of Damaging Sound

When it comes to avoiding noise, you don't have to be working in a noisy environment to need protection, loud noises are everywhere in life. For example, at a very loud rock concert or in a nightclub, you may be exposed to much higher sound decibels. If you attend regularly, you may want to consider noise reducing - rather than cancelling - headphones.

The further away you are from the incoming sound waves, the less you will be affected by these sounds. According to the applied regulations, it is stipulated that people who work in noisy environments should have their hearing tests done at regular intervals and that necessary precautions should be taken accordingly.

How to Tell if Noise is Hurting You

Exposure to loud noise can cause a number of symptoms. People who are exposed to these sounds for a long time, especially unprotected, may face various problems. Exposure to loud noise can cause ringing in the ears and hearing vague unidentified sounds.

However, because you work in a loud environment, you may have difficulty understanding and hearing when communicating with other people. While this situation may cause short-term hearing problems, if you work under these conditions for a very long time, you may face a sensation problem in general.

Workers, especially those using heavy machinery, may have difficulty perceiving high-pitched sounds, as they are exposed to low-frequency sounds emitted by machinery. It is the signal range of the sounds we make during communication ( between 500Hz to 5Khz) that may be lost if your ears become accustomed to a different sound level.

People exposed to loud noise may have difficulty hearing sounds above this range and may also experience communication breakdowns. In addition, loud noise can turn into an endless hum in your head at the end of the day. If this humming occurs continuously, it may cause some sleep disorders.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should consult your doctor without delay.

What's Too Loud?

While communicating with each other in our daily lives, we speak at a certain intonation and volume. This sound intensity increases or increases in some cases. Likewise, when we go to a place, we are exposed to sound intensities in different decibels.

For example, nightclubs play music at very high decibels, but you will be exposed to a lower decibel sound in a cafe. The situation is a little different when it comes to the working environment and people who work with heavy machinery and are exposed to high noise decibels for a long time.

On average, sound intensity should be 80 decibels in an 8-hour working period. Workers working at this sound level should take the necessary ear health precautions and act with awareness. Earplugs and headphones can prevent the level of sound exposure by 15-30 decibels. This allows employees to work healthily in a quieter environment.

General Tips for Ear Health

Protecting our ear health is one of the most important things that we need to pay attention to in order to ensure that our social communication continues regularly and that we correctly perceive what is happening around us.

Hearing is one of the main factors in learning the mother tongue and ensuring healthy progress in our developmental stages. Never insert anything into the earlobe and avoid any dangers such as infection or inflammation of the inner ear.

If you need medical help, find out if the drugs prescribed by your doctor for a hearing problem are ototoxic (toxic to the ear) before you apply.

Have an annual inspection done by an audiologist to get updates on your ear health. If you are experiencing problems such as tinnitus and buzzing and this is affecting your daily life, consult a doctor.