While jackhammer operators can often make good money for their difficult job, they also suffer from a high-risk of hearing loss. Anyone who has worked with one needs to understand this problem and how to gauge their hearing. In this way, they can understand whether or not they need a hearing aid.
Jackhammer Volume Is Considered Painful
Jackhammers are one of the loudest tools in the world and their volume is one of the loudest noises that people can be exposed to regularly. On a decibel volume list, only fireworks, guns, and jet engines have a higher volume. At 130 decibels, jackhammer volume is considered to be "painful" to endure, particularly over an extended period of time.
Over the short term, that level of volume can cause a person to suffer from severe headaches and other problems. Repeated exposure to it can cause minor and even permanent hearing loss. While the ears can recover from exposure to loud noises, if the exposure is long enough it will be impossible for it to recover completely.
That Volume Is More Than Enough To Cause Hearing Loss
So at just what point does hearing loss begin to occur? The threshold of hearing loss is about 75-85 decibels. Sounds at or less than 75 decibels are usually safe for lengthy exposure. However, sounds over 85 decibels are more likely to cause hearing loss. Short-term exposure can cause ringing in the ears and even minor or temporary hearing loss.
However, lengthy exposure (such as a lifetime working with a jackhammer) can seriously damage a person's hearing. The higher the volume of decibels, the more severe the hearing loss. Jackhammer volume, being so extreme, is likely to cause hearing loss even when a person wears hearing protection.
Gauging Hearing Loss
Those who have worked with a jackhammer in the past need to get a hearing test done as soon as possible to gauge whether or not a hearing aid is required. There are several ways that this process can be accomplished. The first step is to take an online hearing test to get a basic idea of the level of a person's hearing loss. These tests take no more than 5-10 minutes to finish.
While these tests are in no way a replacement for getting a hearing aid assessment, they can give a person an idea of how serious their hearing loss has become. If the hearing test reveals severe hearing loss, a trip to a hearing specialist is in order. They can give a more accurate test and decide if a hearing aid is necessary.
In some instances, it may be necessary for the person with hearing loss to avoid working with a jackhammer. Other steps, such as hearing protection, can also be taken. Gauging early hearing loss, and wearing a hearing aid, can help protect a person from more serious damage.
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