Protect Your Hearing

person wearing hard hat and safety goggles, holding an earplug

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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. We may not be able to prevent all hearing loss, but we can help prevent hearing loss due to noise exposure. Here’s how:

Avoid Loud Noises

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB): the higher the number, the louder the noise. Any sound over 85dB can be harmful, especially if exposed to it for a long time. Noise is probably loud enough to damage hearing if:

  • You have to raise your voice to talk to others‣You cannot hear what people nearby are saying
  • It hurts your ears
  • You have a ringing in your ears or muffled hearing afterward

Protect Hearing During Loud Events/Activities

  • Move away from sources of loud noise, such as a loudspeaker
  • Try to take a break, and step away from the noise every 15 minutes
  • Give your hearing about 18 hours to recover after exposure to lots of loud noise
  • Consider wearing ear plugs-a reusable musician’s style earplug will reduce volume without muffling sound

Wear Hearing Protection/PPE at Work

  • If you are exposed to loud noises often at work, talk to your supervisor to review for any hearing-related PPE need
  • Always wear your recommended or required PPE

Control the Volume/Music

  • Use noise-canceling earphones or headphones
  • Don’t listen at more than 60% the maximum device volume
  • Limit earphone/headphone use to no more than one hour at a time. Take a full five-minute break between sessions.

Get Your Hearing Tested

  • Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you are worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it.

Brought to you by Capital Region ESD 113 Workers’ Compensation Trust