World Hearing Day – Check your hearing
Preventing and reducing hearing loss is again under the spotlight for World Hearing Day 2019 – 3rd March and noise measurement experts for 50 years, Pulsar Instruments, is pleased to continue to lend our support to their important message. With this year’s theme ‘Check your hearing’ the World Health Organisation (WHO) wants to draw people’s attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing out on certain sounds and words, often checking their hearing is the first step towards addressing the issue.
The WHO recommends that all people should check their hearing from time to time, especially those who are at a higher risk of hearing loss such those working in noisy places, and those listening to music at high volumes for long periods of time. To help people do this, they have launched a free App that allows people to check their hearing regularly themselves as well as allowing health workers around the world to check the hearing of people in their communities cheaply and easily.
The WHO predicts an increase in the number of people with hearing loss around the world in the coming decades, and estimates that:
- by 2050, 900 million people could suffer from disabling hearing loss
- >1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational exposure to sound levels, and
- Lack of attention to hearing loss poses an annual global cost to health services of $750 billion.
What is hearing loss?
A person who is not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing is said to have hearing loss. It can vary in severity. A person with mild loss may find it difficult to understand conversations in a noisy place such as a restaurant or bar. Someone with moderate loss has difficulty understanding regular conversations unless voices are raised. Others who have severe hearing loss are unable to hear even very loud sounds close to their ears. This can be incredibly socially isolating and affects many people’s day-to-day lives.
Preventing and reducing hearing loss
Hearing loss resulting from natural causes can be difficult to prevent but noise-induced hearing loss (for example from occupational noise or recreational noise) can be prevented in the following five ways:
- identifying where there is a risk and raising awareness of that risk
- early detection through screening
- limiting the amount of time of exposure to noise
- finding ways to reduce noise through e.g. by engineering out the noise
- encouraging individuals’ use of personal protective devices.
You can find out more information about how to carry out workplace noise monitoring and control noise in other applications on our solutions pages.
Sound level meters such as the Pulsar Nova range are easy to use and ideal instruments for measuring occupational noise levels and identifying where there is a risk of hearing loss. They are even able to prescribe the correct level of hearing protection required to protect individuals at work.
Noise dosemeters, such as the Pulsar NoisePen, can also be used to identify an individual worker’s exposure to noise. These are normally fitted to a person’s shoulder and worn for an entire working shift, or working week, to work out their exposure to noise and to identify particular tasks or job locations which put them at risk.
Noise Awareness Training
As part of our commitment to preventing future noise-induced hearing loss, Pulsar Instruments offers several one-day noise training courses throughout the year to help people understand what, why and how to measure noise and what responsibilities they have under the law.
We’ve also produced a number of Free Guides to help employers understand how to control noise at work and prevent hearing loss through the correct use of hearing PPE.
- 5 Steps to Controlling Noise at Work (Under the Noise at Work Regulations)
- Correct selection of hearing protection (Hearing PPE)