Occupational Hearing Loss

Occupational hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that is caused by exposure to loud noise in the workplace. It is the most common work-related illness in the United States, affecting an estimated 22 million workers.

What is an example of occupational hearing loss?

Some examples of occupational hearing loss include:

  • Construction workers who are exposed to the noise of jackhammers and other heavy machinery
  • Manufacturing workers who are exposed to the noise of assembly lines and other loud machinery
  • Military personnel who are exposed to the noise of gunfire and explosions
  • Music professionals who are exposed to the noise of live music and concerts

Is Hearing Loss an Occupational Illness?

Yes, hearing loss is an occupational illness. It is caused by exposure to loud noise over time, and it can be permanent. If you work in a noisy environment, it is important to take steps to protect your hearing, such as wearing hearing protection.

How Do You Identify Occupational Hearing Loss?

Occupational hearing loss can be identified by a hearing test. A hearing test can measure the degree of hearing loss and the frequencies that are affected. If you have occupational hearing loss, you may notice that you have difficulty hearing in noisy environments, or that you have to strain to hear people talking.

What is an example of occupational noise exposure?

An example of occupational noise exposure is a worker who is exposed to 85 decibels (dB) of noise for eight hours a day. This is the level at which hearing loss can start to occur after prolonged exposure.

Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent occupational hearing loss, including:

  • Wearing hearing protection
  • Reducing noise levels in the workplace
  • Taking breaks from loud noise
  • Getting regular hearing tests

If you are concerned about your hearing, it is important to talk to your doctor or an audiologist. They can help you to determine if you have occupational hearing loss and recommend treatment options.