Step 1: Stay informed.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a growing concern. It is an irreversible condition caused by exposure to dangerous noise levels for varying periods of time.
Dangerous noise levels means how much noise, and how long our hearing can withstand it, before being damaged.
In Australia, exposure to levels of noise from 80 to 85 dB and above is cause for concern. Legally, protection must be worn if we are exposed to noise levels of 85 dB for 8 hours.
Fortunately, NIHL is a preventable condition. Keeping ourselves informed, and sharing our knowledge with colleagues, friends and family, contribute to better practices in our personal and professional lives.
Stay informed, stay safe and stay healthy!
Step 2: Wear your hearing protectors 100% of the time exposed to noise.
No matter how good our protective devices, if we do not wear them 100% of the time, we are not protected.
If you need to communicate in your job, choose a hearing device that allows you to communicate while you wear it (so that you won’t need to remove it to speak or to hear someone).
This also means inserting your protective devices before you enter the noisy area.
Step 3: Choose the right level of protection.
Too often, we think that the higher the attenuation (filter strength), the better the device. This is a common mistake that results in over-protection, and it can have damaging consequences.
The overprotected wearer can be dangerously isolated (not hearing an alarm or a truck coming, for example). Overprotection often results in the user removing the device to communicate, thereby dramatically reducing the efficiency of the protection.
Did you know that in a noisy environment, just 2 minutes out of 8 hours without any hearing protection reduces its effectiveness by 25%!
Step 4: Take care of your Custom Hearing Protectors.
A few seconds each day spent cleaning your hearing protectors ensures their performance for the long term.
Cleaning means comfort. When they are comfortable, wearing them is a pleasure and relief, not a constraint.
Step 5: Take good care of yourself.
Nobody can take better care of you than you can. A healthy lifestyle does not mean that you need to be an elite athlete. It means being mindful about what you are putting your body through.
Unlike other type of injuries (for example if you cut yourself), hearing damage is not usually painful at the time it occurs. There is no bleeding, there are no warning signs. As a result, we can spend years putting our hearing health at risk without even knowing it.
Take care of your hearing everyday and ensure a healthy hearing future for yourself. Wear your protective devices at work, at home, at outings like music concerts and anytime you feel your hearing needs some care!