Exposure to high frequency noise in the workplace is a common cause of hearing loss. This type, known as occupational hearing loss is often the result of over stimulation of hearing cells from loud or repeated noises such as heavy machinery, gun shots, air planes, etc. This can lead to long term or permanent damage to your hearing. Often, those who suffer from noise-related hearing loss have difficulty perceiving noises and experience ringing in one or both ears.
One Time Exposure
Canadian researchers have drawn a direct link between the loss of hearing and the exposure to loud noises. The research showed the sensory cells of the inner ear are disturbed by the exposure to noise. The initial exposure creates a temporary, reversible shift in hearing thresholds. The auditory system will recover slowly once the noise is removed. Unfortunately, hearing does not usually fully recover from very high noise exposure.
People who work in conditions exposing them to high frequency noise regularly can sustain permanent, irreversible damage. The recovery from one exposure is slow therefore repeating an exposure before completing the recovery worsens the damage. The synapses in the ear are already damaged so repeating exposure can also magnify, or worsen, the damage. It is very important to take proper precautions for hearing care when working in a condition with the possibility of high noises.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from hearing loss in the workplace and everywhere else. The first and most obvious way is to avoid the high frequency noise. The next recommendation is to wear ear plugs or ear muffs when around heavy machinery or other high frequency noise. Finally, regular hearing tests of any employee exposed to high frequency noise is vital to early detection.
Occupational hearing loss is very common. The damage caused by extreme or repeated exposure to high frequency noise can be permanent. Knowing what types of hearing care can prevent permanent loss to hearing is vital to auditory health. Monitoring the noise levels and wearing hearing protection such as ear plugs or earmuffs can prevent long term damage to hearing. Regular hearing tests can catch hearing damage before it becomes permanent.
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