New research is uncovering that hearing loss is much more widespread that we had previously thought. In addition to genetics and old age, which are facts of life, hearing loss is frequently caused when a person’s occupation or hobby involves noisy environments.
Environmental Causes of Hearing Loss
Here are just some of the environments and occupations that are regularly loud enough to cause hearing loss:
- Construction sites
- Public transportation
- Shooting ranges
- Bartenders and bouncers
- Motorcycle riders
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.
If you regularly experience noise in your workplace, you should be able to ask your employer for information regarding the loudness of your working environment. However, if the loud environment is your hobby, there’s no good way to establish whether it’s regularly loud enough to cause hearing loss.
The Value of Hearing Protection
We are all familiar with the standard foam hearing plugs. They’re cheap, disposable, easy to find, and relatively comfortable. However they’re also not customized to the task at hand, easy to lose or damage, and not custom fitted for all-day wearing comfort.
Many people who are regularly exposed to loud environments in their occupation or recreation and have been informed about the risks of hearing loss opt for custom hearing protection that is comfortable, effective, and calibrated to provide maximum protection for that particular activity.
Example: Custom Protection for Musicians & Music Fans
When using the standard foam hearing plugs, the way sound attenuation works is that the treble is reduced more than bass and mid frequencies. This often has the effect of making the sound “muffled” through the earplugs, and many musicians and fans would rather go without hearing protection than having the experience be ruined by sub-optimal sound. However, a new generation of music-friendly hearing protection has been designed to attenuate all frequencies equally, so that the quality of the sound in the ear is the same, just at a lesser volume.
This is just one example. Many of these same types of modifications exist for other fields such as construction, athletics, and shooting.
Chicago Hearing Services strives to provide pertinent education to musicians and others exposed to noise about hearing loss prevention as well as providing them with exceptional products. Dr. Marie Vetter is certified and has extensive training and can help direct you to the best quality sounding custom ear protection.
Reach out to us today to start saving your hearing with custom ear protection!