According to surveys conducted by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), an estimated 36 to 38 million Americans suffer from reported hearing loss. Out of this, around 500,000 to 750,000 of the population, has been found to suffer from profound hearing impairments or other hearing defects. (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders NIDCD, 2011)
In response to the above observed statistics, there have been measures undertaken by the NIDCD to create awareness amongst parents about the noise induced hearing loss they are exposing their children to, on a daily basis. (NIDCD)
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) – Causing Hearing Loss Issues In Children And Adults
According to the statistical information collected and deciphered by the NIDCD, around 10 million Americans are reported to suffer from permanent and irreversible types of hearing loss. This is usually caused from exposure to any loud sounds or noises. (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders NIDCD, 2011)
As per estimates, the noise induced hearing loss is recognized as the second most reported occupational disease. It is also recognized as the most expensive disability to cover, for all federal and military workers’ compensation. (NIDCD)
The noise induced hearing loss is found to be caused by the one time or repeated exposure to loud sounds, which may be found to range at various loudness levels that extends for a period of time. The factors which contribute to hearing loss include the proximity to the harmful sound, individual susceptibility and exposure time period, along with the intensity of the sound. (American Hearing Research Foundation )
Jobs That Contribute To Noise Induced Hearing Loss
There are a number of jobs and leisure activities that expose an individual to dangerously high sound frequencies that present a high probability of hearing loss. These include jobs in the manufacturing sector, construction and carpentry segments. Individuals employed in the field of mining and assigned active positions in the military, need to use ear plugs and protective hearing gear to minimize the sound levels and frequencies they are exposed to on a daily basis. Airport staff that is active on the airfield and runways also uses protective hearing gear to avoid damage to their ears.
Leisure activities that contribute to noise induced hearing loss for many, includes riding motorcycles, listening to loud music in bars and nightclubs, and switching to high volume levels when using personal audio devices. Activities like snowmobiling and boating and even attending music classes, concerts and sporting events have a major impact on the hearing loss levels caused by prolonged exposure to loud sounds.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD), around 15% or 26 million of the Americans who lie in between the ages of 20 and 69, suffer from a high level of hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds that is experienced as noise at work or due to certain leisure activities. (NIDCD, 2011)
Protective ear plugs, and ear muffs along with other sophisticated ear wear is recommended for better protection. Limiting the time exposed to dangerously loud sound levels and turning down the volume to safe decibels are also ways to prevent noise induced hearing at work or during leisure activities.
This article is written by: Dr. Lori Trentacoste, head audiologist at Island Better Hearing (www.islandbetterhearing.com) All images and content in this article are the sole property of the LIAHP and Dr. Trentacoste (c) 2015, All rights reserved. Use of this article or any content references from this article and/or other written products in this blogsite must be done with express permission from Dr. Lori Trentacoste.
American Hearing Research Foundation . (n.d.). Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Retrieved April 2015, from American Hearing Research Foundation: http://american-hearing.org/disorders/noise-induced-hearing-loss/
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders NIDCD. (2011). Healthy People 2010 Hearing Health Progress Review . NIDCD. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/healthyhearing/what_hh/Pages/progress_review_04.aspx
NIDCD. Inside NIDCD Newsletter. NIDCD.
NIDCD. (2011). NIDCD is Your Resource for National Protect Your Hearing Month and Beyond. NIDCD. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/releases/11/Pages/101911.aspx