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Do You Hear What I Hear? by OTTO Marketing

The World Health Organization estimates 432 million adults worldwide have some level of hearing loss. Find out what it is like to live with hearing loss ...

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.

Try the Hearing Loss Simulation Tool

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.

  1. Choose the right headset style
    The right hearing protection for you is the one you will wear correctly. Some people prefer earplugs and are adept at inserting them to have optimal hearing protection. But earplugs aren’t the right choice if you need to take them in and out frequently. Over-the-ear muffs are only as good as the seal around your ears. If they don’t fit right, you won’t get the desired protection. Try a few styles to determine what fits right so you will wear them to get the full value of the hearing protection they promise.


  2. Select the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) level for your working environment
    The NRR of a headset or earplugs indicates the reduction in noise exposure it will provide, measured in decibels (dB). However, the hearing protection with the highest NRR is not necessarily the right choice. Especially if it’s so uncomfortable or blocks so much sound that you end up not wearing it. The key to finding the right NRR for you is to determine the type of noise you need to protect against and how long you will be exposed to that noise on a daily basis.


  3. Get your hearing tested regularly
    A baseline hearing test with regular follow-up exams will help you know if your hearing is being damaged. You’ll be able to take greater measures to protect against further damage, like limiting your time in noisy environments or wearing better hearing protection.

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.

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