Hearing Protection

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On January 18, 2016, Posted by , In Ear Conditions - Hearing,Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids, With Comments Off on Hearing Protection

Benefits of Customized Hearing Protection

Customized noise reduction earplugs are made from impressions of user’s ear.   This ensures the best fit as protection is molded to fit an individual’s ear canal. This helps reduce the discomfort typically experienced after longer use, and provides a superior level of protection.

Employee Benefits
•    Fast and easy insertion – if the earplug isn’t properly seated in the ear, the user will know immediately because it won’t feel right.
•    Custom ear plugs are sanitary – dirty fingers can position them into the ears without having to touch the canal portion of the earplug
•    Ear plugs can be washed.
•    Communicate freely and remain aware of the surrounding environment while staying protected.

Employer Benefits
•    Custom earplugs can be coloured in such a way that a supervisor can tell at a glance if employees are wearing protection.
•    Cost effective, with the average life of an earplug in soft material being almost 2 years depending on how well they are maintained.

Limitations for the Human Ear

Prolonged noise can damage your hearing – event short bursts of sound over 90 decibels (dB) can have an impact.  Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the damage that’s occurring until it’s too late, because it occurs very gradually over time.

Noise Level Common Sounds
150db Most firearms
140db Jet Engine at Takeoff
130db Jackhammer
120db Ambulance Siren, Amplified Rock Bank, Thunder
115db Sandblasting
110db Woodworking, Power Saw, Motorcycle
100db Garbage Truck, Chain Saw, Pneumatic Drill
90db Lawnmower, Electric Razor, Shop Tools
80db Factory Noise, Alarm Clock, City Traffic
70db Vacuum Cleaner, Noisy Restaurant
60db Dishwasher, Conversational Speech

Noise induced hearing loss is preventable.

Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from certain power tools.

Hazardous Hearing Exposure Limits

Sound is collected by the outer ear and transmitted through the ear canal to the middle ear, where it is converted into vibrations.  These vibrations are sent to the cochlea in the inner ear.  The cochlea is the snail shaped organ that is filled with fluid and contains thousands of tiny hair cells.  The vibrations travel through the cochlea causing the fluid to bend the hair cells.  As the hair cells bend, nerve impulses are passed through the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Constant exposure to loud noises can damage these hair cells, resulting in sensori-neural hearing loss.  Once the hair cells are damaged, they cannot be repaired.

Preventing Damage

  • Avoid constant exposure to noise 85 dB and louder.
  • If you can’t do this, wear airtight hearing protection during exposure.
  • Take regular breaks from the noise exposure.
  • Talk to a hearing care professional to select the best hearing protection for your needs.
  • Get regular hearing evaluations to detect, measure, and monitor hearing loss.

Warning Signs You’ve Been Exposed to Excessive Noise
Even temporary exposure can be damaging and your ears will warn you

  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Reduced hearing
  • Asking others to shout in order to hear them