In our daily life, we are exposed to many noises such as radio and television, household appliances or noise from traffic. These sounds are normally at safe thresholds that do not harm our hearing. If a sound is short-lived but extremely loud, it can damage your hearing. If the sound is both loud and long-lasting, it can damage the sensitive structures in the inner ear and cause hearing loss. This is called noise induced hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be immediate or take a long time to be noticed. It might be temporary or permanent, and one or both ears may be affected. Even if you can’t say that you have damaged your hearing, you may experience hearing problems in the future, such as an inability to understand other people when they are speaking, especially on the phone or in a noisy room. Exposure to a noise that can damage your hearing is possible at any age. People of all ages, including teenagers, children, and the elderly, can experience hearing loss.
Sound is measured in units called decibels. Sounds above 75 decibels can damage hearing. We do not hear sounds below 0 decibel. Prolonged or repeated exposure to sounds of 85 decibels or above can cause hearing loss. The risk can be significantly avoided when the noise level falls below 80 decibels.
Occupational hearing loss
One of the occupational groups most at risk for occupational hearing loss and industrial deafness has been identified as those working in the shipyard. Since the hearing loss here progresses slowly, the hearing loss may not make itself felt at first. People working in a noisy environment must use protective equipment such as earplugs. When these precautions are taken, the disease can be completely prevented. In noise-induced occupational hearing loss, the person who has hearing loss usually realises this at the time of retirement.
The main occupational groups at risk of hearing loss are:
- factories where works such as inlaying, punching, hammering are done,
- flight crew,
- stone cutting, crushing of ores, hammer, ball mills
- business lines that inspect and repair engines and test engines
- farmers, people who are constantly exposed to the noise of garden machinery
- ambulance driver
- manufacturer or factory worker
- musicians, stage stars and athletes
- bodyguards and bartenders
- construction worker
- motorcycle driver or courier
- military services
Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss people experience. It is responsible for nearly all cases of permanent hearing loss and is the result of repeated exposure to loud noise that damages sensitive sensors in the inner ear. The point at which your hearing can be permanently damaged is 85 decibels.
Prevention and diagnosis of noise-induced hearing loss
First of all, it is important to take precautions such as wearing ear protection at work. It progresses slowly, so you may notice that hearing loss develops at a later age. This type of injury can be severe enough to affect your life. In such a case, you may also have the entitlement to claim compensation. The type and amount of compensation that can be claimed depends on where you are, the extent of the injury, and the extent to which it has affected your life. If you would like more detailed explanations on the subject, you can contact the compensation lawyers in Liverpool.
Measures that can be taken to prevent noise in the employee; hearing protectors are education and health surveillance related to limitation of working time, alternate working, exposure to noise and protection methods. However, the first method to be applied is the prevention of noise at its source. Engineering measures should be taken to prevent noise at its source. More technological machines, sound absorption and anti-reflection panels can be used. If it is a sector working in the occupational hearing loss risk group, improvement studies should be carried out by constantly monitoring with ambient sound measurements.