Everyone’s hearing will deteriorate with age. Yet, sometimes, it can worsen much faster than it should. If your workplace is noisy, it can speed up the process of hearing loss dramatically.
While a one-off event such as a big explosion could cause sudden hearing loss, often it is accumulative.
Most of us are exposed to loud noises at some point in the day. Hearing loss comes about as a factor of the level of noise and the length of exposure to it. Louder noise will be more harmful than quieter levels, and being exposed to that loud noise every day will be more problematic than just one day of exposure.
How loud is too loud?
The danger starts much lower than most people realize – at 85 decibels. If you need to raise your voice to speak to someone close to you, then you’re already experiencing background noise at that level. Examples could include the hairdryers if you work in a salon, the power tools if you work in construction or the traffic if you work on the highways or streets.
Your employer should be providing you with ear protection, including ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones. Where possible, you should also take steps to isolate the source of the sound and protect your ears. Yet even that may not be enough.
If you feel your hearing has deteriorated due to workplace factors, you may be entitled to claim worker’s compensation. You’ll need to learn more about how to prove the connection, as insurers often try to avoid paying.