Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Every day, we experience sound in our environment. Normally, we hear these sounds at safe levels that do not affect our hearing. However, when we are exposed to harmful noise—sounds that are too loud or loud sounds generated over a period of time; such as sound generated by dental equipment, the hair cells in the inner ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Once damaged, hair cells cannot be repaired.
There are several symptoms commonly associated with noise induced hearing loss. To determine if you have signs of NIHL ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have difficulty understanding conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
- Do you have increased difficulty understanding conversation when in a noisy environment such as a restaurant?
- Do family members or staff members frequently remark that you have missed what has been said?
- Do you have to ask others to repeat what they have said or respond inappropriately at times?
- Do many people you talk to seem to mumble or not speak clearly?
- Do you have increased difficulty understanding the speech of women and/or children?
- Do you have ringing, called tinnitus, in your ears?
Tinnitus can be a sign of trauma to the ear caused by listening to sounds that are too loud. For more information on tinnitus, visit The American Tinnitus Association at www.ata.org.
Whether you already have hearing loss or you are just starting your career, you no longer need to put yourself at risk. The DentalEar hearing protection system protects you from hazardous noise in your workplace.