Dec. 9, 2009
Protect yourself from hearing loss

Working around aircraft all day is a particularly noisy activity that can put you at greater risk of hearing loss. In addition to hearing loss, prolonged exposure to noise is known to cause psychological and physiological effects including fatigue, anxiety, depression, loss of concentration, reduced productivity, headaches, and high blood pressure.

So while it’s important to get the job done, you also need to be serious and informed about your exposure to noise including its potential for causing hearing loss, how it can affect your health, and impact your ability to communicate and interact with your family and friends.

Active noise reduction (ANR) technology is the most effective defense against low-frequency noise. Low-frequency noise consists of powerful sound waves that can travel great distances and cannot be absorbed by conventional passive materials. Noises generated by engines, blowers, motors, fans, vacuums, pumps, generators and other similar devices are typically dominated by low frequencies — frequencies that cannot be stopped by passive earmuffs. This is one of the reasons why ANR technology has been used by military and aviation pilots for decades — to reduce the hearing loss, anxiety and fatigue caused by engine noise — as well as to overcome the “masking effect” that low-frequency engine noise has on the intelligibility of received communications.

Hearing loss is sneaky. You won’t feel it. It won’t hurt. It’s one of those things that will happen over time as a result of excessive exposure to high noise levels. But, one thing is certain — once it happens, it is irreversible.

Hearing loss is a physical disability. When an individual is exposed to loud noise over time, the hair-like cells of the inner ear, called cilia, can be damaged, causing noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Once the damage is done, there is no way to reverse that damage; there is no cure.

However, NIHL is preventable if you shield yourself from the hazards of noise and practice good health in everyday life:

  • Know which noises can cause damage (those above 85 decibels).
  • Wear hearing protection when involved in a loud activity.
  • Be alert to hazardous noise in the environment.
  • Have a medical examination by an otolaryngologist and a hearing test by an audiologist — you can monitor if hearing loss is happening to you.

It is well known that individuals with hearing loss tend to isolate themselves from social situations because communication and interaction with family and friends becomes more challenging. As a result, they become loners and can be depressed. Don’t let that happen to you. Think for a moment about how it would change everything if you couldn’t hear the sound of anyone’s voice, including your own.

Hearing safety equipment
The NoiseBuster active noise reduction safety earmuff from Pro Tech Technologies was specifically developed for use in high-noise, industrial environments.

The NoiseBuster is ANSI-standard rated at 26 NRR (noise reduction rating). The active noise reduction electronics offers another 20 db (decibels) of low-frequency noise cancellation. With the earmuffs, you will experience greater comfort, less anxiety, and improved focus while protecting your hearing.

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