Repeated exposure to harmful sounds that are too loud causes damage to the sensitive structures of the inner ear. This condition is referred to as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The workers from the transport, construction, manufacture or mining industries are always exposed to sounds between 120 to 150 decibels. Continuous exposure to any noise above 85 decibels, leads to loss of hearing. Surveys show nearly 30 million people in United States seems to be affected by the sounds from workplace, recreational sites or home surroundings. Of these, nearly 10 million are suffering from NIHL.
Hearing loss prevention is not a Herculean task. Individuals, who are at risk of such high decibel noise at the work place or any other location, should use ear protection devices. Being OSHA complaint requires the workplaces to have proper hearing loss protection aids. Earplugs and Earmuffs can be used to protect the ears from sound levels detrimental to the ears. Earplugs are the popular form of ear protection, which offers a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 22. But, this is not sufficient to withstand the higher decibel noise levels of the industries. Earmuffs help in such situations.
It has been seen that people remove their ear hearing protection devices at the workplace to communicate with their counterparts. However, this act becomes the cause of permanent damage to the ear, as even a smallest exposure to such high decibel sounds is detrimental to the delicate inner ear. A large range of ear protection products are available off-the shelf. With new technological innovation, there are a number of electronic earplugs and earmuffs available which are high on safety features and capabilities.
While selecting ear hearing protection devices, it is necessary to choose the right one according to the place of use and ones comfort level. The equipment that one should look into are ones that would allow the workers to hear the background sound, communicate with their fellow workers while suppressing the excess noise that creates disturbance and effects the auditory nerves.
Technology has made available a number of Earplugs in modest designs combined with unparalleled communication functionality. These new age electronic earplugs and electronic earmuffs have in-built Noise Suppression and Speech Enhancement technology. Besides, enabling face-to-face communication, it covers short distance of up to 50 meters as well as connectivity in long distances. Being Bluetooth enabled, this offers optimized hearing and speech clarity when used with cell phones, is cost effective and provides an overall communication solution.