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CLANG! SLAM! RIZZZ! VROOM!

From engines running and car doors closing to sanders whirring and air compressors humming, workplace noise comes with the territory at auto shops, and some of it can prove damaging to a mechanic’s ears and hearing health. An estimated 22 million American workers across various industries experience dangerous sound levels, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), yet excess noise is one of the most preventable causes of hearing loss.

Did you know?

  • Four million Americans work amid hazardous noise levels every day.
  • Occupational noise is a key culprit in hearing loss that occurs in adulthood.
  • Workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability amounts to about $242 million each year.
  • Some 34% of those exposed to workplace noise report that they skip hearing protection.
  • More than 31 million Americans ages 6 to 69 have permanent hearing damage due to noise.
  • Loud noise can destroy the inner ear’s hair cells, a crucial, irreplaceable part of healthy hearing.
  • Quality hearing protection reduces noise intensity while still allowing the sounds you want to hear.
  • Exposure to excess noise can lead to tinnitus, a common and potentially debilitating problem of buzzing, humming, or ringing in one or both ears.
  • Hearing loss due to noise exposure is cumulative and could go unnoticed until years later, but the damage may continue to occur and be irreversible.

In honor of National Protect Your Hearing Month in October, read on to learn more about the risks associated with working in an auto shop and ways to guard against noise hazards in any workplace.

How Loud Is Too Loud in an Auto Shop? Hint: Safer Levels Are Below 85 Decibels.

Some Typical Noise Hazards Decibel Level or “dBA”
Running engine 190
Air hammer on metal 112
Compressed air through nozzle 95
Disk sander 90
Car horn 110
Electric drill 102
Loaded impact wrench 102
Angle grinders Over 85
Industrial vacuum 85

 Recommended Standard According to NIOSH, workplace noise exposure “should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss.”   Length of Time Before Damage Occurs Noise-related hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, immediate or gradual. It can occur from one-time exposure to a forceful sound, such as an explosion, or result from prolonged exposure to sounds at or louder than 85 decibels. The greater the sound, the faster the damage may occur.\ Both NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offer guidance for curbing workplace noise hazards. In fact, OSHA requires selected employers to implement a hearing-conservation program “whenever worker noise exposure is equal to or greater than 85 dBA for an 8 hour exposure or in the construction industry when exposures exceed 90 dBA for an 8 hour exposure.”

Some ways to control or protect against occupational noise hazards include:

  • Engineering controls, which involve solutions such as modifying or replacing equipment, substituting less-noisy alternatives, separating the noise source from workers, or conducting noise-reducing maintenance or repairs.
  • Administrative controls, including limiting the duration of exposure to noisy equipment, providing quiet spaces for respite away from noise, and running noisy machines during less-populated shifts.
  • Effective and properly worn hearing protection such as quality earplugs, headphones, and earmuffs designed to suppress noise.

If you have a noise-related hearing loss, you can be helped. Schedule an appointment with your local audiologist, who can conduct a case history, provide a complete diagnostic hearing evaluation, and make the appropriate recommendations — which could include custom hearing protection, treatment with hearing technology, or both — based on your individual results. ——————————– title tag: How to Protect Your Hearing From Noise Hazards on the Job meta description: Noise-related hearing loss is a serious issue and one that is easily preventable. Follow these helpful tips and protect your hearing! slug: protect-hearing-noise-hazards alt text: How to keep your ears safe on the job category: hearing loss, hearing health, hearing protection

During Football Season, Local Audiologist Makes Noise About Hearing Protection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2017

During Football Season, Local Audiologist Makes Noise About Hearing Protection

Bartlesville, OK — This October is the American Academy of Audiology’s National Audiology Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about audiology and the importance of hearing protection. Making this topic relevant and timely to the community, Advanced Hearing Care reminds football fans (and arena-sports fans alike) that the best offense against hearing loss is a good defense.

“Your hearing is a key element to fully enjoying your time at the game. Ironically, the things we love — from cheering and jeering to the halftime performance — are all things that could hurt our hearing. The better you protect your hearing, the longer you’ll be able to experience the things you love,” says Stephanie Moore, Audiologist, of Advanced Hearing Care

Loud stadiums have become a source of pride for fans and teams across the country, but with stadium noise exceeding safe decibel (sound pressure) levels, it’s also a source of hearing loss. Cheering fans can push decibel (dB) levels well into the hundreds. At these levels, it only takes 1 to 15 minutes for the sound to damage your ears.

“Cheering while the away team is in a huddle gives football fans the opportunity to get in on the action, but football isn’t the only sport that puts fans at risk. From vuvuzelas to referee whistles and fireworks, loud noise at sporting events is something all spectators should be aware of,” says Dr. Moore. “The more awareness we raise about noise-induced hearing loss [NIHL], the more people we can help.”

NIHL is damage done to the ears by exposure to loud noise; the amount of damage is dependent upon the decibel level and the length of time you’re exposed. Repeated exposure to sound levels above 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. Rather than not being able to hear at all, high-frequency sounds are usually the first to go, meaning you may be unable to hear s, f, sh, ch, h, or soft c sounds.

National Audiology Awareness Month encourages regular hearing checkups combined with hearing protection to preserve hearing health. The focus includes helping those living with untreated hearing loss by offering educational pieces around technological advances in hearing aids.

Press Contact:
Stephanie Moore, AuD
Advanced Hearing Care
918-333-9992
info@drstephaniemoore.com, www.drstephaniemoore.com
About Advanced Hearing Care- Advanced Hearing Care is a full-service audiology practice proud to be bringing better hearing to the people of Bartlesville for 11 years. From Bartlesville our AudigyCertified™ hearing care practice has helped thousands of patients with their hearing, tinnitus, and balance disorders — and offers state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and expert fitting of hearing technology.

Better Hearing and Speech Month: 5 Tips to Step Up Your Hearing Game

Did you know? About 360 million children and adults — more than ve percent of the global population — have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization.

The good news? Not only can most hearing loss be helped with state-of-the-art hearing technology or other options, but simple steps can help you prevent some types of hearing impairment altogether. With the 90th celebration of Better Hearing Month just around the corner in May, here are ve tips to help you and your loved ones take charge for better hearing every day.

Know the Signs
Frequently asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the TV, having di culty understanding phone conversations, complaining about noise or earaches — these
and other signs point to potential hearing loss. Detecting it early can reduce the risk of academic, social, physical, and other problems.

Curb Noise Exposure
More than 31 million Americans ages 6 to 69 have permanent hearing damage due to noise, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reducing exposure to sounds above 85 decibels, curbing use of MP3 players, and wearing earplugs even when mowing or using leaf blowers, snowblowers, and weed wackers can go a long way.

Partner With Your School
Teachers and administrators are critical to helping kids hear their best during the school day, with classroom seating arrangements, loop and FM systems, closed captioning, and other supportive options. They can also identify possible signs of hearing loss, such as decreased engagement and changes in grades or behaviors.

Keep Hearing Aids in Top Shape
If you or your loved ones are already hearing better through today’s advanced hearing technology, help keep the devices in their best shape with a professional clean and check. Also, keep extra batteries on hand at home and on the go.

Get a Hearing Checkup
Take the whole family for professional hearing evaluations at least once a year, just as you would for their eyes or teeth. Timing the visits before summer camp or the new school year, for example, can help you catch any hearing di culties before they a ect your child’s learning and development.

Our audiology experts are here to help you and your loved ones hear your best. For more tips on taking charge of your hearing health or to schedule a hearing evaluation, call our o ce today.