Different Reasons For Hearing Protection
Face it, the world is a noisy place. Much more so than 50 or 100 years ago. Technology, for all of the great things it’s done for us, has made the world a much louder place. Engines, power tools, firearms, and explosions are just some of the many hazards that our ears face these days.
If you want to preserve your hearing for years to come, you need a way to protect your ears when you are around loud and percussive technology. Hearing protection has come a long way in recent years. From simple foam inserts to high-tech noise canceling listening devices, hearing protection can save your hearing from damage from the world around you.
Here are some of the many different ways your hearing could be damaged, and why hearing protection is so important.
Anyone who regularly goes shooting knows that a good pair of ear protection is a must. If you go to a commercial shooting range, it’s a requirement. Even if you’re hunting or shooting on your own property, it’s extremely important to use hearing protection. Gunshots range from around 140-165 dB or decibels. For reference, prolonged exposure to sounds at just 70 dB can damage your hearing, and loud sounds at 120 dB or higher can cause immediate damage. With the sound from a gunshot generated so close to your ears, you shouldn’t risk firing even one shot without ear protection.
Another cause of loud noises is construction and the machinery used in construction. Both the act of construction and the machines used can be damaging to hearing, both to construction workers and the public. The average construction site generates 80-90 dB of noise, which at prolonged exposure can be damaging. Some cities place limits on construction noise that is generated. For the workers, a good set of hearing protection can save hearing disability later in life.
Along the same lines as construction, some vehicle engines can create hazardous conditions due to the noise they produce. While most passenger cars are designed to be as quiet as possible, high-performance sports cars can have very loud engines. Some can reach as high as 88 dB, which can be damaging over time. Professional racecar drivers always wear hearing protection, usually in the form of radio communication headsets. Other drivers, such as long-haul truck drivers, could potentially be at risk if they don’t protect themselves.
One profession that is at risk for hearing loss that many people overlook is dentists. Dentists work with high-speed drills and scalers that generate 90-100 dB when in operation. Over the course of a workday, those sounds can add up and lead to hearing loss. Ear protection designed for dentists is a relatively new concept, but one that is long overdue. The exposure to damaging sounds for dentists is comparable to that of construction workers.
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