What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can be caused by either continuous exposure to loud noise, such as a noisy machine at work, or a one-time impulse exposure, such as an explosion. Activities and hobbies such as target shooting, attending loud concerts, playing in a band or blasting music through your headphones all contribute to noise induced hearing loss and can affect people of any age.
The louder the sound and the longer the exposure, the shorter the amount of time it takes for hearing loss to start affecting you.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB); the humming of a refrigerator, 45 dBs; a normal conversation, 60 dBs; sirens, 120 dBs and motorcycles, 95 dBs. These things are usually safe for your hearing when you are at a suitable distance and are not exposed to them for long periods of time, in order for noise to cause any damage to your hearing it must exceed 85 decibels and be continuous.
There are three options to prevent noise induced hearing loss. The first option is lowering the volume of sound at its source. The second is to limit the time of exposure to loud noise. The last is to wear physical protection from the noise.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 state that all employers should provide hearing protection to their employees if their daily personal noise exposure is 80 dBs or above or if they are exposed to a peak sound pressure of 135 dBs. Your employer has a legal requirement to cut the risk of any potential cause of hearing loss.
Noises that exceed 85dB can cause permanent cochlear damage therefore prevention is extremely important.
Get in touch with us for a FREE hearing test or just to talk to one of our hearing loss specialists. Even if your employer no longer exists we can often trace them through their insurer. The process is easy and will be explained fully by one of our team.