Friday, 11 May 2012

Safety and Headsets: Don’t Risk Hearing Loss

What causes hearing loss? According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, there are several different reasons adults can experience hearing loss if they did not inherit it. Some of the most common are illnesses, tumours, head injuries, ear-damaging drugs, aging, and loud noise.

Today we are going to discuss the most common type of hearing loss: excessive loud noise.

Hearing loss due to loud noise sometimes occurs when wearing headphones, and the worst part about it is, you may not even realize it is happening until it’s too late. This is because this type of hearing loss occurs gradually and is generally not painful.

Protecting yourself from hearing loss due to loud noises begins with choosing the right headsets and learning what you can do to prevent any damage from occurring to your ears while you are wearing them.

What Causes Noise-Induced Hearing Loss With Headsets?

There are three main factors associated with noise-induced hearing loss with headsets.

  • How loud, or how many decibels, the sound is.

  • The pitch of the sound.

  • The length of time you are exposed to the sound.

If a sound is less than 75 decibels, it is less likely to cause permanent loss to your hearing. The louder the sound is, the quicker hearing loss can occur. For instance, rock concerts usually generate about 110 to 140 decibels of sound. Exposure to this level of sound can cause damage after only 15 minutes. Noises above 90 decibels, such as those from lawn mowers and motorcycles can cause damage if you are exposed to them for long periods of time. While some types of damage to your hearing can be reversed over time, the longer you are exposed to high volumes of sound, the more likely you are to experience permanent damage.

Are Wireless Headsets Users Susceptible to Hearing Loss?

Unfortunately, headset users can be susceptible to hearing loss, especially if they do not understand how to prevent it. While a normal conversation occurs only at about 60 decibels, headphone users may become sensitive to their headset’s sound level over time, especially if they use it for long period of time, day after day.

While the volume on their headset may be in the same place it has always been, the user may perceive a drop in volume. As a result, they may turn up the volume on the headset, not realizing they are increasing the decibels and putting themselves at risk of hearing loss.

If you use microphone headsets every day and are worried about hearing loss, don’t be. There are several steps you can take to ensure your ears stay safe.

  • Place the volume on your headphones at the lowest possible level you can. You should be able to hear clearly, without having to strain, but your co-workers should not be able to hear sounds from your headset even if they are sitting right beside you.

  • Purchase a headset with noise cancelling features and crystal-clear call quality. This will help to eliminate background noise and distractions so you can hear everything the individual on the other end of the line is saying without having to turn up the volume.

  • Reduce as much ambient noise as possible in your environment. You can do this by installing carpeting, using curtains, and placing noisy machines like copiers and printers far away from your desk or in another room.

  • Take a break every 30 minutes or so. Keeping the headset on your head for long periods of time can cause hearing fatigue, which will make it harder for you to hear callers clearly. By taking a break every half hour or so and sitting in a quiet location, you can give your ears a chance to rest.

  • Have your hearing checked during your yearly physical. If you catch signs of hearing loss early, your doctor may be able to help you reverse them or help you determine how to keep further damage from occurring.

With the right headsets and these tips, you can easily prevent any hearing loss that might occur from wearing headphones for long periods of time. Make sure you start taking these steps as soon as possible for the best results.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for information and all the warning stuff . i don't use headphones that much , only when traveling , but I like to hear with a higher frequency then usual so i guess i better stop doing it . anyway thanks .