Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hearing Health

Agricultural Safety Awareness Week March 6-12 is a great time to share information about noise induced hearing loss. After reading information about noise induced hearing loss, I don't think I can accuse my husband of having selective hearing any more! After years of exposure to the noise of tractors and farm machinery, I'm sure he does suffer from noise induced hearing loss. According to the University of Arkansas AgrAbility program(, here are some facts about noise induced hearing loss:

  • it can affect anyone that is exposed to hazardous noise at work

  • 33% of all people who are exposed to hazardous noise at work will develop hearing loss

  • agriculture is one of the highest risk professions

  • noise induced hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities for Arkansas farmers

Noise induced hearing loss can be developed gradually as a result of chronic exposure or can develop suddenly as a result of a single impulsive noise exposure. While normal conversation is measured at 60 decibels, 85 decibels or higher is considered too loud. Hearing protection is recommended in the workplace if noise is at 85 decibels for exposures longer than eight continuous hours. Both the amount of noise and the length of exposure contribute to hearing damage. There are many styles of hearing protectors available but the best one to use is the one you actually wear! I hope you will find this information worth sharing with your family or co-worker because noise induced hearing is painless,progressive and permanent but it is preventable!

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