How to Prevent Hearing Loss

Do you work around machines, vehicles, or crowds of people? What may seem like a normal amount of noise to you could actually be causing irreversible damage and contributing to hearing loss.

For example, without proper ear protection, running a chain saw for only two minutes can be dangerous for your hearing. The louder the sound, the less time it takes to harm your hearing. Prolonged exposure to moderate levels of noise can also cause hearing loss.

The good news is there are reliable ways to prevent hearing loss. Devices specific to many professions and hobbies exist so that doing your job or enjoying your favorite activities won’t cost you your hearing. Most solutions are easy to use and comfortable to wear so you can incorporate hearing loss prevention into your daily routine.

Talk to us about hearing protection devices for any noisy environments where you work or play. Call us today at 403-242-3700

Sounds That Can Damage Your Ears

Recommended exposure limits to decibels varies. Most jurisdictions in Canada limit 85 dB for a full, eight-hour work shift, but it is 90 dB in Quebec and 87 dB for organizations that follow the Canadian federal noise regulations. However, to reduce your chances of hearing loss you should use adequate hearing protection if your exposure to decibels will be more than the limits in this table.

Intensities of Common Sounds in Decibels

Sounds Intensities Exposure limits
City Traffic, inside the car 85 dB 8 hours
Bulldozer 88 dB 4 hours
Jazz Concert 91 dB 2 hours
Power Mower 94 dB 1 hour
Nightclub 97 dB 30 minutes
Ambulance Siren, inside driver window down 100 dB 15 minutes
Rock Concert, Leaf Blower 115 dB 30 seconds

For a complete listing of over 1700 noises and their corresponding decibel levels, check out this list of Exposure Time Guidelines from Dangerous Decibels.

Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention

Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention

Loud, constant sounds all day at work can cause long term hearing problems. Extreme, sudden noise bursts louder than 90 decibels, such as gunfire, industrial noises, woodworking, motorcycles, loud music and motorized lawn equipment, are more damaging to hearing than regular and extended exposure to more moderate noise over a longer period.

Consider a hearing loss prevention program that includes using hearing protection devices, periodic hearing tests and education for workers along with administrative controls that include accurate record keeping, evaluations and audits.

Ear Protection for Hunters and Recreational Shooters

Ear Protection for Hunters and Recreational Shooters

Roughly 50 percent of all recreational shooters may suffer some degree of hearing loss. Most gunfire exceeds 130 decibels. To prevent hearing loss and permanent damage to hearing, use reliable ear protection.

As a hunter, you need to be able to hear very soft sounds, while still protecting your ears from the peak noise levels of a shotgun blast. Fortunately, hunters have many options for ear protection, including custom or over-the-counter ear plugs or earmuffs and devices that provide amplification while muffling the sounds of gunfire.

Electronic ear plugs enhance the sounds around you. For example, you can hear game movement but also reduce impulse sounds (such as gunfire) to a safe level. This helps prevent damage to your hearing. Electronic ear plugs are available in custom molds as well as standard, less expensive alternatives.

Hearing Protection for Law Enforcement

Hearing Protection for Law Enforcement

If you’re involved in law enforcement, you know how important your hearing is to perform your job effectively. You may also have experienced a situation in which firing your weapon has temporarily reduced your ability to hear. And if it hasn’t already happened, there may be a future situation where your partner or a member of your team will be forced to fire their weapon in close proximity or in a confined area. The potential damage to your hearing could be severe and cause irreversible hearing loss.
Ear Protection for Musicians

Ear Protection for Musicians

Professional musicians work in a high decibel environment that can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to sound and sound distortion.

Traditional earplugs won’t work for the professional musician because they reduce sound by muffling low-to-mid-range frequencies. Instead, look for custom musicians ear molds. They’re available to protect musicians’ ears from loud sounds without distorting what they hear. There are also a variety of “in ear monitors” and other products that will enhance the music experience and protect your ears, whether you’re a serious musician or just a music aficionado.

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