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    October 13, 2023

    October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

    October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of hearing protection and to promote practices that help prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Here’s what you should know about the event.

    NIHL and Hearing Protection

    NIHL is the most common type of preventable hearing loss. It is caused by exposure to loud noise, such as the noise from machinery, equipment, and power tools. NIHL can lead to various hearing problems, including tinnitus (ringing in the ears), difficulty understanding speech in noise, and even deafness.

    Hearing protection is essential for anyone who works in a noisy environment. There are a variety of hearing protection devices available, including earplugs, earmuffs, and noise-canceling headphones. The best type of hearing protection for you will depend on the specific noise environment in which you work, but here are some guidelines:

    • Choose the right hearing protection. Hearing protection devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is important to choose a hearing protection device that is comfortable to wear and that provides adequate protection from the noise in your work environment.
    • Use hearing protection correctly. Hearing protection devices must be worn properly in order to be effective. For example, earplugs must be inserted deeply into the ear canal, and earmuffs must be worn snugly around the ears.
    • Inspect your hearing protection regularly. Hearing protection devices can wear out over time. It is important to inspect your hearing protection regularly for signs of damage and to replace it as needed.
    • Get your hearing tested regularly. It is important to have your hearing tested regularly, even if you think your hearing is fine. This will help to identify any early signs of hearing loss.

    It Goes Beyond Using Hearing Protection

    In addition to using hearing protection, there are a number of other things you can do to protect your hearing in the workplace, such as:

    • Limit your exposure to loud noise. If possible, try to avoid working in noisy areas. If you must work in a noisy area, try to reduce the amount of time you spend there.
    • Take breaks from noise. If you are exposed to loud noise for prolonged periods of time, take breaks to give your ears a rest.
    • Turn down the volume. If you are using headphones or earbuds, turn down the volume to a safe level.
    • Be aware of the signs of hearing loss. If you are having difficulty hearing speech in noise or experiencing ringing in your ears, see a doctor or audiologist to have your hearing tested.

    The Role Employers Play in Preventing Hearing Loss

    Employers also have a role to play in protecting the hearing of their employees. Employers should:

    • Provide employees with hearing protection. Employers should provide employees with hearing protection that is appropriate for the specific noise environment in which they work.
    • Train employees on how to use hearing protection. Employers should train employees on how to use hearing protection properly and on the importance of hearing protection.
    • Reduce noise levels in the workplace. Employers should take steps to reduce noise levels in the workplace, such as installing noise barriers and using quieter equipment.

    By following these tips, you and your employer can help to protect your hearing and the hearing of others.