Hearing protectors for work

November 10, 2016 by David Tremblay-Deschênes

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There’s no doubt that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This saying, frequently mentioned by health professionals, is used to promote the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits.

Despite efforts to prevent it, occupational hearing loss is a widespread health problem. According to Institut national de santé publique, from 1997 to 2010 the incidence rate of occupational hearing loss rose from 26.1 to 65.3 for 100,000 people.

3 out of 4 workers with occupational hearing loss are aged 55 and over.1

Considering that noise is omnipresent in many workplaces, protection measures are highly recommended to reduce the risk of having hearing loss.

Adapted earmolds

Earmolds help reduce the adverse effects of noise at work and protect hearing. Custom earmolds are made in two steps. First, the worker’s ear casts are taken. To do so, the audioprosthetist or the hearing health nurse injects hardening paste into the patient’s ear canals after examining them with an otoscope. A few minutes later, the casts are removed and then sent to a laboratory where the custom protectors are made. When the patient receives the earmolds, they are checked to ensure comfort.

Some hearing protectors contain filters so the wearer can hear others speaking. These are recommended for foremen and anyone else who needs to hear speech amid background noise.

Wearing hearing protectors is a way to decrease the risk of occupational hearing loss. To ensure protectors last a long time, they should be cleaned regularly with the right products. A pair of hearing protectors will last about two years depending on maintenance.

To learn more about hearing protectors, consult an audioprosthetist or a hearing health nurse.

Reference:
Institut de national de santé publique, “Portrait de la surdité professionnelle acceptée par la Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail au Québec : 1997-2010 – Troubles de l’audition sous surveillance,” 2014.

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