According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 432 million adults worldwide have a hearing loss disability. That means they have hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better-hearing ear. The amount of hearing loss could be mild to profound and may affect one or both ears. A person with hearing loss can have trouble hearing conversational speech, distinguishing sounds at high or low frequencies, or be unable to hear well in noisy and distracting environments.
The truth is that when you can’t hear well what’s going on around you, it is isolating, can be depressing, and ultimately lead to decline in memory and other cognitive processes. Adults with hearing loss also have a much higher unemployment rate than those without hearing loss. Adults with hearing loss who are employed often earn lower wages compared with the general workforce. Hearing loss may also result in an earlier retirement than an individual planned or desired.
Permanent hearing loss can be caused by many factors, but one of the most common is repeated exposure to loud, impulse or continuous noise exceeding safe thresholds. A wide range of occupations expose employees to unsafe noise levels on a daily basis, including construction, manufacturing, mining, racing, aviation, event management, public safety, the military and more. Sadly, once hearing has been damaged, it cannot be repaired; assistive devices are the only answer.
What is it like to live with hearing loss? Take a few minutes to try this hearing loss simulation tool to learn what a person with hearing loss hears in a few different situations.
The simulator gives you the option to hear what mild to severe hearing loss sounds like in a range of situations such as a normal conversation at home, in a restaurant, while shopping, in a car and more. It gives you the chance to imagine what your life would be like if you lost some or all your hearing.
Prevention is key
The best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to limit exposure to unsafe noise levels. If that’s not possible, there are certain steps you can take to protect your hearing.
Hearing protection headsets come in a wide range of styles to fit the requirements of every application and working environment. When you find the headset that meets your needs, be sure to wear it to protect your hearing.