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3 Tips for Protecting Your Hearing While Working in a Noisy Factory

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If you work in a loud factory where your ears are constantly exposed to noise level above 85 adjusted decibels, or dBA, you may be worried about possible damage to your hearing. If so, use one or more of the following three tips to protect your hearing while working in an excessively noisy factory.

Avoid Playing Music to Drown Out the Noise

While you may be tempted to put on your headphones and play loud music to drown out the factory's noise, you should think twice before doing so. You would have to play the music at a higher decibel than the surrounding noise to achieve your desired effect.

Because the music coming from the headphones would be forced directly into your ear canal, this could damage your hearing even more. Although you may not hear the factory noise, the sound waves would still affect your hearing. 

The combination of the music and environmental sounds could damage your ears at a faster rate than just one by itself. Instead, look one or both of the next two options to drown out the outside noise.

Wear Earplugs

One acceptable option for protecting your hearing while working in a factory is to wear earplugs. When making a selection, choose a pair that completely seals off the ear canal. For example, foam plugs are available that you can compress before placing them in your ears where they expand until they fit snugly.

When choosing your earplugs, do not wear any that are too loose or go too deeply into your ear canals. If they become loose or dislodged, they could go further inside and possibly damage your ear drum. Ask your supervisor or foreman about being fitted with a pair, if they offer that service. If not, an audiologist may be able to help you.

Put on Noise-Cancelling Headphones

If earplugs are not enough to drown out the noise, you may want to try putting on noise-cancelling headphones instead of or along with the plugs. These headphones are designed with special filters that keep excess sound waves away from your ears. You can obtain these either through your factory or a hearing specialist.

Using the above tips can help protect your hearing from the constant barrage of noise where you work. However, if you start to experience ringing in your ears or difficulty hearing, you may want to schedule an appointment with an audiologist through services like Mark Montgomery MD FACS.

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1 May 2017