Some professions, including being a logger, put you at an increased risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Let’s examine how noise from work can damage your ears as well as what to do to protect your hearing health.
Job Duties Increase Hearing Loss Risk in Loggers
A study published in 2017 wanted to determine the prevalence of hearing loss among workers within the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (AFFH) sector. Researchers looked at audiograms from 1.4 million workers taken between 2003 to 2012. They found that workers in the forestry sub-sectors had the highest rates of hearing loss. Specifically:
- Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products: 36% had hearing loss
- Timber Tract Operations: 22% had hearing loss
Some particularly loud activities that loggers engage in, including using chainsaws and unlatching cables to move and hold logs, can be especially loud and potentially damaging.
How Loud Does Noise Have To Be To Cause Hearing Loss?
Any noise over 85 decibels has the potential to harm your hearing by damaging the hair cells of the inner ear. These cells play a crucial role in the hearing process, and once they are damaged, whether by loud sound or something else, they cannot be repaired. Enough damage will lead to permanent hearing loss.
On the job, loggers are exposed to sounds that get up between 90-110 dB, past the threshold where damage can occur.
Other non-logging related activities that may harm your hearing can include working in construction or hobbies such as hunting or riding motorcycles.
Hearing Protection for Loggers
Wearing hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, while engaging in loud tasks is essential for loggers to protect their ears while on the job. In terms of the industry as a whole, steps they can take to help prioritize the hearing health of their workers include:
- Working to reduce the amount of time workers spend operating loud equipment
- Installing silencers and mufflers when possible
- Making sure all equipment, such as hand tools and vehicles, are well-maintained and receive regular inspections
- Providing workers easy access to undergo regular hearing tests to catch any changes early
Diagnosing and Treating Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Apart from regularly scheduled hearing assessments, you should get a test any time you notice a change in your hearing. If you find yourself struggling to hear your favorite TV program or can’t follow the conversation when out with friends at Chelsea Tavern, make an appointment with an audiologist.
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. While it may seem daunting, your audiologist can help you find the right style of hearing aid, with features that will maximize your hearing and help keep you connected to the latest technology.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Wilmington Audiology Services today.