Hearing loss may occur due to a number of different reasons. One of the most common is the constant exposure to increased levels of noise, which are potentially dangerous for the ears. Although noise induced hearing loss can be a result of a trauma caused by the sudden instance of excessive noise, it usually occurs due to the prolonged stay in an environment where the noise level exceeds 85dB. Many occupations can lead to permanent damage of the hearing.
The list of the top 10 most dangerous ones includes:
- Teachers at nursery schools: This may come as a surprise but the combination of sounds generated by toys and children's voices can result in noise levels higher than 85dB.
- Motorcycle couriers: The level of the noise under the driver's helmet at a speed of 50mph is around 90dB. This limits the safe exposure time to 2.5-3 hours.
- Farmers: The constant sound of agricultural machines such as tractors, combines, grain dryers or even squealing animals makes farmers experience noise levels between 80 and 100dB.
- Manufacturing workers: It is usually necessary to operate with loud heavy machinery in a closed environment, which leads to constant exposure to noise levels between 95 and 100dB.
- Logging workers: This is a job that is not only physically demanding, but also holds many dangers for the hearing. For example while working, a dozer is exposed to 97 dB and a timber cutter to 104dB.
- Staff working in a nightclub: Even a few hours spent in this environment could cause ringing in the ears and discomfort, as the typical noise level in a regular club or disco is measured to be between 100 and 110dB.
- Construction workers: Working in the construction industry requires workers to spend most of the day in an excessively noisy environment, especially when it comes to digging and demolishing. For example, a hammer drill alone could be responsible for noise levels of 115dB.
- Rock musicians: Their job looks like a dream come true but could easily lead to permanent ear damage due to noise decibels of more than 120dB during a concert.
- Military personnel: The typical noise levels during military operations could reach between 130 - 140dB, which makes hearing loss one of most common disabilities amongst those occupying the military sector.
- Airport ground staff: The noise level produced by a working jet engine during a take-off could reach up to 140dB, which is beyond the threshold of pain occurring at 130dB.