Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
About Noise-Induced Hearing Loss:
Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most self-reported occupational illness or injury.
In the United States, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition among adults after hypertension and arthritis, despite the World Health Organization calling hearing loss the most preventable occupational hazard we face.
Hearing loss is not perceived until the damage is already extensive and irreversible; prevention is the only real solution.
Dental offices have several sources of high decibel and/or frequency noises that can potentially damage hearing permanently including: high-speed hand pieces, high-speed suction, ultrasonic instruments and cleaners, model trimmers and other laboratory devices.
Chronic noises above, or even below, industry standards have direct links to systemic health effects like cardiovascular disease, depression, sleep and cognitive function, low-birth weight babies, and poor learning among children.
Hearing loss is a cumulative and additive phenomenon; small exposures over time can result in permanent damage the same as high exposure for sudden bursts. The only real preventive solution is protection with noise reduction earplugs.
The stress and manual labor of dentistry is well known, and we all know of colleagues who suffer from hearing issues as a result of their careers; why not prevent this by protecting yourself with noise reduction earplugs for dentists?
Hearing damage is caused by noises 85db and higher, and directly related to the amount of exposure and cumulative time exposed to noise. Thus, a total exposure time of just 1-2 hours daily in the dental environment is enough to surpass 100% dosage and contribute to irreversible hearing damage!
Consider that the average dental professional works 40hrs weekly in this noise-rich environment, for an average career lasting 35 years; it’s not a question of IF you will damage your hearing, but rather how quickly, and to what extent!
“If hearing loss were officially considered a disability, it would rank as the largest disability class in the country.”
"Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”
- Former U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart- 1978
“We start losing our hearing as early as our 20s, but most people aren't aware of it--or they're in denial.”
- CNN News
- "Hearing loss an 'invisible,' and widely uninsured, problem' - CNN.com
- Hearing Assessment Study
- "Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Dental Offices"
- "Occupational Hazards to Dental Staff"
- "High-Frequency Vibration and Noise in Dentistry"
- "Hearing Difficulties Among Experienced Dental Hygienists"- A Survey ADHA Journal 2015