Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) – Who Is At Risk & What You Can Do

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) – Who Is At Risk & What You Can Do

Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by exposure to harmful, loud noise. This condition can affect people of all ages, and it may be temporary or permanent. You can take steps to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, such as wearing ear protection when necessary.
Loud noises primarily affect the cochlea, an organ within the inner ear. When you’re exposed to loud noises, cells and membranes in the cochlea can become damaged. NIHL occurs when structures in the inner ear become damaged due to loud noises.
Most of the time, the sounds in our everyday environment like TV, traffic and ambient conversations are at a safe level.  However, there are times when sounds become too loud or last for too long. This can lead to noise-induced hearing loss. Unlike other types of hearing loss, NIHL is preventable.

Who Is At Risk For Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

noise induced hearing lossPeople of all ages can develop NILH. Individuals who attend loud concerts or listen to music through headphones at high volumes are more susceptible to NIHL. Those who have jobs in noisy environments are also particularly vulnerable. The damage is caused by the injury or damage of your inner ear hairs, and it can be very serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), jobs and industries with the highest risk of noise induced hearing loss include:

  • Agriculture
  • Carpentry
  • Mining
  • Oil or gas extraction
  • Construction
  • Military
  • Manufacturing
  • Musicians
  • Video games

According to research studies, NIHL affects approximately:

  • 5.2 million children and teens between ages 6 to 19
  • 26 million adults between the ages of 20 and 69

Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a serious health risk that can affect anyone. It’s caused by the injury or damage of your inner ear hairs, and can be very serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible for an assessment and treatment plan.



Industries Most Affected Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is hearing loss that results from damage to the structures and nerves of the inner ear that are designed to respond to sound. Permanent damage happens when the human ear is exposed to deafening sounds and cannot be surgically corrected. This damage results in permanent hearing loss. 

Most people do not know that NIHL can result from a one-time exposure to a loud blast or sound or regular exposure to excessively loud sounds over a prolonged period. Exposure to noise at or above 80dB is a frequent cause of NIHL. The louder the noise, over a protracted time, the more likely noise-induced hearing loss is.

Certain industries are prone to NIHL and statistically have high rates of preventable hearing loss.:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing (auto, aircraft, space, equipment)
  • Transportation
  • Farming
  • Machine operation
  • Airline
  • Mining
  • Textile


What You Can Do


Hearing loss can occur from working near loud machines and noisy environments.  Studies have also shown that absorbing high pitched sounds consistently can damage your hearing.  Hearing Personal Protection Equipment (HPPE) not only protect your ears from the noise, but they’re also OSHA compliant. Additionally, Hearing Protection PPE can help reduce stress and fatigue, help workers improve their concentration and work productivity .

There are different types of Hearing Protection ear plugs available,  each with its own set of benefits.  The most common Hearing Protection PPE products are foam ear plugs, reusable ear plugs, and hearing protection earmuffs. Our variety of hearing protection products are very effective at reducing and blocking loud noise.  In addition, they’re also very stylish and comfortable, and come in different colors & styles, so you can wear them and work with confidence.

High quality is Safety Company’s mandate for their customers. We carry a range of prices and brands to fit all our customers needs. Brands like 3M, Moldex, Hearos, Elvex and and more. Here are some comfortable solutions, designed to give workers the full hearing protection:

  • Foam ear plugs are made from soft foam and are inserted into the ear canal like a standard earplug. They provide good  noise protection and are comfortable to wear. Simply grab & insert a new pair of earplugs when they run out, and you’re good to go.
  • Ear muffs – Ear muffs provide complete protection for your hearing by reducing noise levels outside of the ears.  They’re essential for noise protection during activities like construction, working near loud machines & vehicles, farming, and other noisy environments.  Wearing earmuffs will protect your hearing from hazardous noise levels.
  • Earbands  so comfortable, workers will wear them all day long and not have to worry about losing them when they take them off for lunch or bathroom breaks.
  • Smart fit reusable earplugs are easily cleaned – Hear without removing your earplugs! These Moldex 6770 dual mode ear plugs features the first flip to listen design which allows wearers to switch to listening without needing to remove and refit the ear plugs.
  • Ear Plug Dispensers and Ear Plug Stations – Ear plug dispensers & stations are convenient, easily accessible, and available to all workers. Ear plug dispensers and stations are super convenient.  They’re a great way to protect your ears and keep them health

Hearing ProtectionPrevention

Aside from using HPPE products, make sure to get regular hearing checkups if you are working in an industry or environment that has intermittent, consistent or sudden loud noises. Hearing loss can usually be prevented if it’s identified early enough. work by reducing the amount of noise that reaches your ears. This helps to protect your hearing from damage, and it can even help you to regain lost hearing if you have a problem with your hearing.

If you think you are experiencing NIHL or feel you are at risk, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner you have your ears examined, the sooner you can prevent ongoing damage to your hearing.

If you are interested in ordering HPPE products in bulk to prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss in your workplace, call our sister company, Safety Company at 800-310-7233, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm PST.  Ask to speak to our safety professionals.

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We at Safety Toe Shoes USA thank you for reading!

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