Hearing Protection

Occupational Hearing Loss: At-Risk Careers & the Benefits of Custom Hearing Protection

Occupational Hearing Loss: At-Risk Careers & the Benefits of Custom Hearing Protection

How seriously do you take your career? Seriously enough to let it permanently damage your hearing? You may be surprised to find out a number of common careers have noise levels that regularly exceed the safe range and that could eventually lead to hearing loss. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Construction worker
  • Carpenter
  • Flight crew
  • Factory worker
  • Bartender
  • Bouncer
  • Public transport driver or employee
  • Musician
  • Dentist
  • PE teacher
  • Sports coach (including school)
  • Military
  • Ambulance driver
  • Garbage man

Some particularly loud workplaces such as construction sites or factories may have employee policies on hearing protection, but most of the others do not and it’s up to the employee to bring his or her own hearing protection to work.
85dB is the level of loudness that OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established as having the potential to cause permanent hearing loss. You may surprised to find out that this isn’t actually very loud at all. Some common occurrences that approach that level of noise are:

  • Running the garbage disposal or blender
  • Using a snowblower or lawn mower
  • A train or semi truck passing 50 feet away

As you can see, we’re not talking about drastic levels on noise here. Doing these activities is ok, for the short period of time that you usually do them for, but if this level of sound is going on constantly at your workplace, you may be at serious risk of permanent hearing loss.
When it comes to selecting the right kind of hearing protection, you’ll want to choose something that was designed to work in the environment you work in. While the standard foam earplugs can work in a pinch, custom hearing protection tends to be more comfortable, and when you’re talking about wearing a piece of gear day-in and day-out for work, the small additional investment for customized protection is usually worth it.
Custom-molded earplugs stay in your ear better and require less adjustment throughout the day. Custom hearing protection can also come with filters, which can make it easier to hear colleagues and other safety noises, addressing one common complaint of standard hearing protection.
Chicago Hearing Services strives to provide pertinent education to professionals who are regularly exposed to noise in their working environment, as well as providing them with exceptional custom hearing protection products. Dr. Marie Vetter has extensive training and can help direct you to the best hearing protection for your particular work environment.
Have a question about workplace hearing safety, or want to invest in some custom hearing protection? Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vetter.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.