The world is loud. So are many of our jobs.
Noise pollution poses a real threat to our hearing health. We experience these loud sounds so often, that for many of us, we don’t pay too much attention to them. The sounds are simply a part of the environmental landscape. Road noise, construction sites, event venues — for some of us, these noisy environments are places we quickly pass through or experience temporarily.
But for many others, these threats are occupational in nature. They are environments where you’re spending significant time, day after day, in very noisy situations. If you’re a person who works in one of these industries, avoiding the threat that these high decibel sounds pose isn’t always easy.
Prolonged exposure to sounds at 85dB and above can result in permanent damage to your hearing. To give you a few examples, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and garbage disposals are all everyday sounds many of us hear, and they measure about 85dB in volume.
Our goal at Colorado Ear Care is to educate you on these subjects so that you understand the risks and the options you have to keep your hearing healthy.
There are preventative measures that a person can take to protect themselves from damaging their hearing, as well as steps that can be taken if your hearing has already suffered damage from noise. Let’s learn a little more about some of these loud occupations, as well as things you can do in order to live your best hearing life.
Construction, manufacturing, and factory work
It should come as no surprise that these are very loud occupations, and that there are certain sounds that pose a risk to your hearing health.
Machinery, loud trucks, traffic, and tools like electric saws, nail guns, and jackhammers can range anywhere from 100 to 115dB in volume.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requires that workplaces with noises above 85dB provide access to hearing protection, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that employees are required to wear it.
If these work conditions describe your workplace or that of a loved one’s, we strongly recommend you start wearing protection. Better yet, why not consider custom-fit earplugs? Earplugs molded and fit by Colorado Ear Care will provide you with a more comfortable fit, a better seal for better protection, and an ability to filter out specific frequencies and decibel levels.
Teachers and childcare work
Though it’s probably not shocking to see that children can be loud, it might surprise you to learn how loud classroom and childcare environments can really be.
Groups of children yelling, infants crying, and the cumulative effect of school sounds like bells, halls full of bustling students, and loudspeaker announcements can measure to as many as 125dB.
Plugs might not be the most practical solution for school environments, but having the awareness of this volume of noise should encourage professionals to give their ears a break as often as they can.
First responders, flight crews, and agricultural workers
We’ve paired these professionals together because the common thread of loud noise they’re exposed to all comes from a similar place — the vehicles and equipment that make their job possible.
Tractors, grain dryers, chain saws, emergency vehicle sirens, and airplanes can be incredibly loud, and for those of us working these important jobs, the noise is unavoidable.
These sounds are typically in the 120 to 130dB range, making hearing protection an absolute essential if you hope to maintain healthy hearing into old age.
Bartenders, musicians, and event staff
When Willie Nelson said, “The night life ain’t no good life, but it’s my life,” he could have been referring to the never ending series of shows he was playing to small crowds, waiting to make it big, or he could have been referring to the constant stress his ears were being put under as a live musician.
Concert venues are loud, and they put everyone in attendance at risk to excessive noise exposure. Bands, DJs, wait staff, security, ushers — everyone in the venue is at risk of exposure to excessive loud noise, anywhere between 110 and 120dB, and often even louder!
While many people in these scenarios can wear hearing protection, there are still many who cannot. Luckily for musicians, we offer custom in-ear monitors that can be worn in rehearsal and in performances so that your hearing is protected while you’re hearing the exact mix of music you need to hear so you can focus on delivering a great show vs. fighting with a muddy sound mix that is damaging your hearing.
Colorado Ear Care can help protect and preserve your hearing
Our approach to hearing care includes comprehensive testing, dizziness and balance support, precision fit hearing technology, as well as preventative solutions like custom-fit earplugs, custom in-ear monitors, personalized earplugs for shooters, and more.
Standardized foam and silicone earplugs are better than nothing, but they just can beat the fit, comfort, and protection that personalized plugs can provide. They fit precisely to your ears’ unique anatomy and won’t slip like off the shelf products.
We encourage you to contact Colorado Ear Care to book your hearing exam appointment, so you can learn more about the state of your hearing health, as well as your options for hearing protection or any other hearing aid technology that could enhance your hearing and enrich your life. Contact us today!