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Excessive noise is harmful for your ears, when it moves from nuisance levels and becomes a danger to your hearing, suitable sound protection is required. In the worst case scenarios a noisy atmosphere causes Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) but what exactly is this and how can you prevent it? This latest blog from Acoustic Interiors delves a little deeper into the subject of hearing loss causes by sudden or continuous exposure to excess noise.

 

 

What is NIHL?

 

Noise Induced Hearing Loss affects the auditory system in the ear, it can be caused by two reasons. One is the sudden exposure to a loud noise, such as a major explosion for example, or it can gradually occur due to prolong exposure to excessively noisy environments, like workshop environments or industrial settings. Work in an environment where the noise levels are less than 75 decibels per day and you should be fine, noise is more of an irritation. However, when the noise levels reach 85 decibels or higher you are at risk from long-term hearing loss.

 

How does it damage the ear?

 

Your ear is sensitive, it’s a complex structure containing an outer ear, middle and inner ear. It contains hair cells which act as sensors, they ride the wave of ‘sound’ and they are key to creating an electrical signal from the ear to the brain which helps it recognise and understand noise. When these cells are subjected to excessive noise they become damaged, they die and they cannot be repaired, without these hairs your ears don’t work!  

 

Ear protection for NIHL

 

Prevention is the best method to protect your ears. Take protective measures if you know you are going to be working in noisy environments, wear ear defenders, earplugs or something suitable to act as a barrier against noise. Watch out for excessive noise in the environment, be diligent and make others aware of noise as well. You only have one set of ears so look after them, don’t become a victim of NIHL.

 

Research

  • 70% of workers say they would be more productive in a less noisy environment
  • 72% of workers are dissatisfied with their speech privacy
  • 64% of workers are interrupted more than 20 times per day

 

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