Noise – Workplace Wednesday for July 9 2014
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is permanent hearing loss resulting from being exposed to high levels of noise for a long time.
The hearing loss that results from long-term hazardous noise exposure takes a long time to develop.
Although the damage can happen early in a worker’s career, the hearing loss is usually noticed later. Why is it so? Its because young workers have a large reserve hearing capacity and hearing loss progresses very slowly; it is hard to notice in the early stages. None the less, everyone’s hearing gets worse with age. In addition to hearing loss and tinnitus, noise is also associated with adverse health effects such as: high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, increased stress levels, tiredness, irritability, hormonal changes as well as low birth weight in pregnant women’s children.
Do you have a noise problem at work?
- Do workers have to shout to be heard for some time during the day?
- Is noise noticeable while you are working?
- Do workers complain of ringing in the ears at the end of a shift?.
For those affected by noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), the problems can be major. It is said that hearing loss is more socially isolating than even total blindness as it becomes difficult to communicate with family and friends. Crowded settings like noisy restaurants or gatherings become impossible, watching shows or listening to music are only an irritation, and hearing aids are of little help.
There is no cure for NIHL. But it is completely preventable by eliminating or reducing noise exposure.