In our day to day lives, hearing is something that you usually take for granted and don’t think much about. From talking your loved ones, listening to music and hearing your television, hearing is how you as an autonomous creature connect to the world. Although, depending on your job or your hobbies you may be unintentionally placing your hearing at risk. So what can you look out for and the steps you can take now in order to continue living a happy and “earful” life? The following will assist in taking preventative measures to protect something near and dear to your life.
Noise Monitoring & Noise Controls
The first step in preventative maintenance to your hearing is to monitor the current noise levels at your place of work or how you conduct your hobbies. There’s two different types of ways to measure sounds that can be beneficial to you. The first is sound mevel meters, which measure the sound intensity at a specific moment in time. The other is dosimeters which can measure your average exposure to noise over time. Either way, try to conduct risk assessments at specific job sites at your work or whatever your hobby may be such if you use loud equipment (ATV, chainsaw, motorcycle, etc).
As soon as you understand what the actual noise exposure is, your next step should be finding varying ways in order to mitigate it as much as possible. Hearing problems can occur if proper steps aren’t initiated. The following is just a short list of examples that you can use.
- Limit the time workers spend working with noisy equipment.
- Isolate the worker from the noise by using an enclosure, such as a fully enclosed cab, that can protect the worker from the machine’s noise.
- Buy quieter equipment. Take noise into account when selecting equipment. Buying quieter equipment will help you control noise exposure at your site by eliminating the noise before it even happens.
This seems like a pretty obvious point, but many don’t give it a second thought. Whether it’s because it’s too expensive, “doesn’t look cool,” too bulky or just simply doesn’t fit right too many folks don’t take the time to look at preventatives until it’s too late and the hearing is now lost forever. With what your job or hobby involve, and more importantly how much you’re willing to spend, there’s a range of various sizes, shapes and levels of comfort to choose your hearing solution from. The most common you’ll see are universal ear plugs. They’re inexpensive, fit a wide variety of ear, and come in both foam and silicone material. The best part is you can just shove them in a pocket to go. A truly great choice for those on a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice their hearing.
Another option are ear muffs. These are commonly found in anywhere from hardware to gun stores and everywhere in between. As the name describes, they have a headband with two muff that securely go over the ears. Some are electronic and some are not. Either way, for those not comfortable with plugs in their ear canal, it’s a surefire solution to have a product to protect your ears while being secure on your head at the same time.
Earphones are another great solution for those that want a hybrid of not quite technically in-ear plugs, but also not ear muffs. These are usually used with those who want to listen to music or have a phone call, but still want to protect their ears. For an example, AXIL even offers a Bluetooth model that allows you to be essentially wireless and have quality hearing protection all at the push of a button. Ours even comes with a supplied mini-USB cord for when you’re on the go yet need to get your stuff charged.
The final solution is for those that want specifically hearing protection in a inconspicuous platform. We offer both universal and custom in-ear electronic plugs that give you the comfort and discrete nature of ear plugs with electronic features. This will boost the audio around you when you’re talking, but will turn off to protect your hearing is there is a loud sound over a certain decibel. Our models have an adjustable volume wheel that can be managed by the use in order to customize it for the environment they’re in.