Your hearing is almost always being subjected to some form and level of noise as you go about your daily life but there are some occupations and hobbies where you need to be mindful of the threat to your hearing they could pose.
Thanks to amazing developments in technology, you can find solutions to a good number of hearing issues, including a form of tinnitus treatment that is extremely successful, but a good starting point would be to be aware of any risks to your hearing and aim to prevent damage in the first instance. Here is a look at some typical jobs and hobbies that often require you to consider hearing protection.
A noisy work environment
There are two distinct ways of damaging your hearing, either by exposure to a very loud isolated sound incident like a firearm discharging by your ear, or, most commonly, through repeated exposure to high noise levels.
The general guide is that you are putting your hearing at risk if you are exposed to noise levels above 85 decibels for periods of more than eight hours at a time. Factory work is a typical work environment where you could be exposed to high noise levels, although your employer should provide protective equipment to reduce the risk.
The construction industry poses a threat to your health and safety if proper precautions are taken and safety procedures followed, including potential damage to your ears.
Some activities such as cutting and drilling can produce decibel levels well above the safety limit, which is why you should be wearing ear defenders if you are going to be exposed to this threat while working on a site.
Agricultural work often involves the use of heavy machinery and that is another real threat to your hearing. The fact that well over 70% of farmers report hearing problems in older age should tell you about the risk that this sort of occupation poses, even allowing for a certain amount of deterioration in hearing due to the aging process.
If you like to remodel and renovate your home or enjoy doing regular projects in your workshop you should be thinking about how much exposure you are getting when it comes to loud noises.
Home improvement and woodworking are two hobbies where you should get yourself some ear protection to use when drilling, sawing or carrying out any sort of noisy activities in a confined space.
If you are someone who loves to explore the highways on two wheels it would be wise to remember that the average motorcycle engine tends to generate a noise level that is well above the 85-decibel safety level.
The bottom line is that noise is a fundamental cause of hearing loss and when the volume level exceeds a safe limit you are risking damage to the fragile components and mechanisms that need to function to allow good hearing, such as hair cells and nerves.
Enjoy your favorite hobbies, but be mindful of the potential risks to your hearing, and make sure you are given adequate protection if you work in a noisy environment.