Risking hearing loss at the workplace

Published on Sep, 25, 2022

Professionals at risk owing to loud sounds

Good hearing health is essential for ease of communication with people. If your hearing is affected, it can affect your confidence, health, and well-being. Common factors responsible for hearing loss are hereditary, aging, and certain illnesses; another unsuspecting cause for this is the workplace.

Occupational hearing loss such as working in noisy areas can eventually lead people who work in such places to have hearing loss in the long term. It can become embarrassing when colleagues at work have to shout or repeat themselves before you can hear them.

Imagine having a staff meeting and you were asked a question but you misinterpreted because it sounded different. When this becomes a pattern, it can make communication difficult and weird. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. However, your level of exposure to noise and the length and frequency of the exposure matter.

This article highlights jobs that can induce hearing loss.  

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Exposure to loud noises at work


Not all musicians risk hearing loss, for instance, if you are a rock star that practices for hours and always goes to concerts that last for hours can put you at risk for hearing issues. You are at risk for permanent hearing damage with at least 15 minutes of exposure to loud noise.


The sound from the drill can be intense and annoying to patients and dentists. Dental workers constantly drill and are at risk of having high-frequency hearing loss. Due to the drill’s intensity, the high-frequency hearing loss impacts their ability to hear consonant sounds like "s" or "t".

Ambulance drivers

The siren sound is no doubt annoying to the ears, the sound is around 120Db, and is loud enough to make you feel ear pain immediately. Also, hearing loss may not happen at once, but your body adapts to the condition over time.


As a farmer, you are constantly exposed to intense noise. The farming industry is one of the top three industries with the highest risk for hearing loss. Large-scale farming involves using heavy machinery that exposes farmers to environmental noise and eventually impacts their hearing.

Construction workers

Construction workers at different sites are close to environmental noises ranging from traffic to jackhammers. Workers are exposed to different power equipment and loud noise capable of inducing hearing loss.

Athlete officials and coaches

Blowing a whistle or shooting a gun at the start and end of a game can be exciting, but the excitement may be short-lived when you end with your ears ringing from loud noises.


Precautions at the work place

Regardless of the years spent at your job, you can still protect yourself from hearing loss or prevent subsequent hearing issues.

  • Wear hearing protective equipment: You should normalize wearing the correct protective equipment such as earplugs or muffs, to minimize the impact of the noise.
  • Take breaks in-between work: One way to reduce your noise exposure is to regularly take a few minutes away from the source of noise or sound.

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