According to the Nation Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, nearly 15% of American adults report some sort of difficulty with hearing – that is over thirty-five million people!
While hearing loss can be caused by many different things, some people may not realize the type of job they have could be contributing to their hearing loss. Exposing yourself to continued loud or high-pitched noises can play a role in the degradation of your hearing. We wanted to take some time to highlight some of the jobs that may lead to hearing loss, so you know whether or not you may be at risk.
If you work one of these jobs, you may want to see a doctor to get a hearing test. Loss of hearing is more common than you might think and many people take their hearing for granted. If you are ready to get a hearing test, Resonance Audiology is the best place to start.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 jobs that can lead to hearing loss:
- Farmer – Being a farmer is one of the most common jobs in the state of Pennsylvania. Working on a farm may not seem to be high risk, but many factors make this occupation a danger to your hearing. Farmers are constantly around loud noises coming from heavy machinery, tools, and even animals. A pig squeal can be over 100 decibels.
- Carpenter – People who work with wood to make furniture and other hand-crafted pieces are also at risk for hearing loss. Using things like hammers, drills and electric saws is part of everyday work, which can also contribute to hearing loss.
- Construction Worker – The construction industry is known for having constant loud noises. Trucks, jackhammers, and other tools used on a construction site can be heard from far away. Construction workers who are operating these tools and machines have some of the highest potentials for hearing loss.
- Airport Ground Staff – Working on an airport runway produces some of the loudest noises in any job. For the staff who work to load or unload planes and help direct them for take-off and landing, hearing loss may be very common. An airplane taking off or landing can produce noise of up to 140 decibels.
- Ambulance Driver – Paramedics play an integral role in saving people’s lives. In most cases, time is of the essence, so they need to get to people quickly to assist them. In doing so, ambulances usually use a very loud siren to alert people that are on the road to move out of their way and clear a path, so they can get to where they need to go more quickly. Unfortunately, that siren could be contributing to the hearing loss of the driver or anyone who is exposed to that noise for extended periods of time.
- Dentist – While it may not seem like a job where you would need to worry about your hearing, a dentist can be exposed to noise that can create hearing loss. The drills used in some dental procedures are very high-pitched – not to mention they are loud. While patients may only hear them for the time they are at the office, a dentist may be hearing them all day long.
- Factory Workers – People who work in a factory are exposed to noise constantly. The CDC believes that nearly half of all workers in manufacturing are exposed to a hazardous level of noise. This puts factory workers in one of the most high-risk lines of work when it comes to hearing loss.
- Musicians – While we all love music, it is one of the biggest contributors to hearing loss in some cases. For those who are at live concerts in large venues, speakers and other amplification devices can emit sounds that top off at 115 decibels. This constant exposure can lead to hearing loss very quickly
- Miners – Employees who work in mining are exposed to high pitch and loud noises in an enclosed space, which can seem deafening. Constant use of things like drills and other machinery over a prolonged period of time will cause hearing loss. Mining also uses explosives from time to time, which can create loud noises.
- Military Personnel – A large portion of those who serve in different branches of the military experience hearing loss. Being exposed to high levels of continuous noise are present in many different positions in the military. Whether it be the crew onboard a Navy vessel working in the engine room or those who have served on the frontlines using various weapons or ordinances, there is a high probability that exposure to these loud noises may lead to hearing loss.
So, what can you do if you work in one of these jobs to give yourself the best chance of not losing your hearing?
The number one thing you can do is wear proper hearing protection. In some of the jobs listed above, your job may even require you to wear hearing protection. Wearing earplugs or earmuffs designed for hearing protection is one of the best things you can do. Some people might think that stuffing your ears with cotton will suffice. Unfortunately, cotton does not do much to protect your ears and can even cause problems with getting stuck.
You should also take breaks as often as possible, especially when working a job that has constant noise. Reduce the amount of time you are around the source of loud noise so that your ears can have a break. Whether you are experiencing hearing loss, or think you may be at risk, you should seek the help of an audiologist.
An audiologist is a doctor where you can go to get a hearing test and even get advice on the type of hearing protection that may work best for you.
Resonance Audiology can give you a hearing test, as well as other services, to help with a range of issues related to hearing. When you see a doctor at Resonance Audiology, you can rest assured knowing that you will be provided with individualized care using the latest tools and technology. Our goal is to find the option that works best for your situation.
Click here to find out more about us and how we can help you with hearing loss today!