12% of working people in the United States have difficulty hearing. The numbers are especially high in the industries we serve, and since hearing loss tends to happen gradually, you may not even notice a difference right away. Understanding the early signs of hearing loss can help you better protect your auditory health.
You may associate hearing loss with frequently asking people to repeat themselves in conversations or having the TV volume on a setting that seems too high for others, but there are more subtle signs that hearing may be affected.
These could be as “small” as not noticing a microwave’s ding or a phone alarm right away, experiencing ringing sounds in your ears from time to time or having difficulty learning new skills because of slower knowledge uptake.
Often, family and friends are faster to notice differences. It can sometimes be easier to notice and identify changes in others than in ourselves. If you are concerned about your hearing, ask your family and friends if they have noticed any differences in your behavior or recognition.
Have you ever been in a crowded space and had trouble making sense of the words someone is saying to you? You may be able to hear the words but not be able to really comprehend the message. This is a common sign of hearing loss as your brain works overtime to attach proper meaning to the words you are hearing.
What’s Too Loud?
If you have to yell to be heard, the space is too loud. That’s a good general rule of thumb, but you can also ask that the noise levels of your facility or equipment be tested. OSHA has a lot of information on workplace testing here. https://www.osha.gov/noise
Use Headsets to Communicate
We love Sonetics wireless headsets because they provide hearing protection while still enabling users to interact with others. Because their headsets stay on, you never have to expose your ears to noise, and situational awareness allows you to hear important sounds like traffic or alarms at safe levels. Finally, these units increase safety and productivity on the job because they allow you to stay connected with others.
Learn more about our headsets with listen-through technology and hearing protection here, and contact Haaker today to schedule your free in-person demo!