Hearing Safety

DeWalt Interceptor Folding Earmuff

DeWalt Interceptor Folding Earmuff

Industrial machinery. Heavy construction equipment. Power tools. Aircrafts. Gunfire. Motorcycles. Race tracks. Dental drills. Sporting events. Fireworks. Rock concerts. Marching bands. Yard equipment.

All involve people. All involve loud noise. And, potentially, all contribute to hearing loss.

While a single event – like a firecracker or rock concert – can lead to ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss, repeated exposure to loud noises are more likely to lead to permanent hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects 1 in 10 Americans and is mostly age-related and unpreventable. However, it can also be caused by the cumulative effects of excessive noise exposure, which IS PREVENTABLE.

The workplace often presents significant potential for hearing loss. OSHA offers the following regarding hearing safety in the workplace:

  • Approximately 30 million people in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise.
  • Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most prevalent work-related health concerns and has been for 25 years.
  • Thousands of workers suffer yearly from hearing loss due to workplace noise.

And that’s in addition to the individuals suffering hearing loss from noise encountered outside of work.

How Ears are Damaged

According to Noise & Hearing Protection, “When noise is too loud, it begins to kill the nerve endings in the inner ear. Prolonged exposure to loud noise destroys nerve endings. As the number of nerve endings decreases, so does your hearing. There is no way to restore life to dead nerve endings; the damage is permanent. The longer you are exposed to a loud noise, the more damaging it may be. Also, the closer you are to the source of intense noise, the more damaging it is.”

In other words, ears are damaged over time, and damage depends on amount, length and intensity of exposure to noise.

Identifying Hearing Loss & Its Causes

Because hearing loss is painless and gradual, you might not notice it. So how can you tell?

  1. You might notice a ringing or other sound in your ear (tinnitus)
  2. You may have trouble understanding what people say.
  3. People may seem to be mumbling, especially when surrounded by other noise.
  4. Speech or music sounds muffled when you leave a noisy situation but fairly clear the next morning.

Protect Your Hearing

Obviously, noise cannot be completely eliminated. But, there are some simple approaches to reduce the risk of cumulative hearing loss.

  1. Wear earplugs and/or earmuffs. Wear hearing protection when working in an excessively noisy environment, when using power tools and lawn equipment, when firing a gun, and when riding a motorcycle or snowmobile.
  2. Be sure to choose the right kind of hearing protection.Combating Common Objections to Hearing Protection wear says that “the right kind of hearing protection brings noise levels to a point where they won’t cause damage but necessary sounds like conversations can still be heard.”
  3. Wear hearing protection consistently. Finding the right size and type of gear is important to increase the chance consistency.
  4. Turn down the sound. Decrease volume when possible (radio, television, etc.).
  5. Give your ears a break. If you’ve just vacuumed, wait a while before mowing the lawn.
  6. Enjoy silence. Give your ears regular breaks not just from loud noise but from any significant noise. Noise can not only affect your hearing; Noise and Hearing Protection notes that it can have a significant impact on your overall health too.
  7. Increase your awareness of noise exposure. Think about how much noise enters your day, and reduce its affects by incorporating the above tips.

How do you know if a noise is too loud? Common sense mostly, but use your arms if you’re not sure. If someone is standing at arm’s length away and you have to shout to make yourself heard, then the noise around you is probably damaging your ears.

Healthy Hearing explains that protecting yourself from hearing loss needs the same approach as protecting your skin from sun damage. They say to “remember, hearing loss is based on the cumulative effect of loud noise throughout a lifetime so, like wearing sunscreen and staying in the shade, wear ear plugs when doing yard work or whenever you know you’re going to be exposed to the roar of a riding mower for more than a few minutes.”

Aim For The Right Decibel Levels In Shooting Earmuffs Protection

A friend of ours here at SafetyGlassesUSA.com recently went to the shooting range for the first time. She was lucky enough to have the safety enthusiasts on staff here tell her exactly what she needs to outfit herself in to stay safe – ballistic eyewear, shooting gloves, and of course, Shooting Earmuffs, particularly our Electronic Earmuffs. She asked us how many decibels a gunshot is, and it brought to our attention that although this is common knowledge to us, many of us who are not around safety gear 24/7 may underestimate their need for hearing protection while performing certain activities. Well, you know us! We’re here to change all that.

Elvex MaxiMuff SuperSeal Ear Muff 28 NRR

Elvex MaxiMuff SuperSeal Ear Muff 28 NRR

Hearing Loss – Not Just For The Old.

Many of us expect to gradually begin losing our hearing as we age, but being exposed to loud noise can cause it, too. Here’s just a snapshot of the real life hearing loss injuries that can occur, in both the young and old:

  • 15% of Americans ages 20-69 have some degree of hearing loss due to loud sounds or noise, in both work and regular activities, according to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
  • 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness occur every year.
  • 1 in 5 Americans have hearing loss in at least one of their ears, according to the Hearing Health Foundation.

Understanding Decibel Levels

Think you can grab a pair of earmuffs off the shelves at your local hardware store and expect them to protect your ears on the shooting range? Not so fast. Many low-cost earmuffs only protect up to 32 to 60 decibels, which is the equivalent of normal conversation – not the 155 dB that a shotgun produces, on average. Our earmuffs – including our Electronic Earmuffs and Shooting Earmuffs, offer varying sound protection ranges (check the item description), with many featuring technology that reduces the external noise to a safe hearing range.

Here’s what you need to know:

Decibel level where prolonged exposure can cause hearing loss:

  • Telephone Dial Tone, Dishwasher, Garbage Disposal: 80 dB
  • Train whistle from 500 ft, Subway from 200 ft: 90-95 dB
  • Motorcycle, Rock Concert: 100-115dB

Decibel level where pain starts:

  • Power Lawn Mower, Garbage Truck, Jet Flyover at 1,000 ft: 100 dB

Decibel level where even short exposure can cause hearing loss:

  • Thunderclap, Chain Saw: 120 dB
  • Jet engine from 100 feet,  12-gauge shotgun: 150 dB

It’s vital that we all understand how noise exposure, even in everyday tasks like cutting the grass or hearing the roar of the subway as it glides into station, can affect our hearing. Be mindful of the decibel level protection that you need, and choose noise reducing earmuffs that suit your hearing protection needs.

Why Buy “Made in the USA”?

Made In USA

It’s when dollars spent on American-made products stay in America that we all benefit.

Safety Glasses USA, being a veteran-owned company, proudly celebrated Armed Forces Day last week; but we celebrate our Made in the USA brands every day! And since it’s getting to be that hot time of year when showing your patriotism is oh-so cool, wouldn’t you feel great in a fabulous new pair of eyewear that helped an American family bring home the bacon?

The truth is that there are many very serious reasons to consider buying U.S.-manufactured goods. Here are a few we believe are most important:

When you buy American …

  • you not only support American business owners, but also American workers, safe working conditions, and child labor laws.
  • you help grow America’s economy and foster American independence.
  • you’re leaving a cleaner world to our children. U.S. manufacturing processes are much friendlier to the environment than many other countries whose practices are unregulated, dangerous, and highly polluting.
  • you support the idea of a honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work rather than an economy built on the backs of an exploited, underpaid, overworked population.
  • you can feel confident that American consumer protection laws and safety standards protect your family.
  • you keep your family, friends, neighbors, and yourself earning a living wage. Innovative firms prove that job creation, manufacturing pride, and advances in technology will help the U.S. weather this challenging economy and once again become a thriving economy.

The Importance of Patriotic Spending

For the longest time, factory jobs were a chance for a family to step into the middle class and afford the next generation greater opportunities. Over the last several decades however, the U.S. let countless manufacturing jobs slip overseas. This has caused our knowledge base to shrink, and an unstable manufacturing sector to result.

And although middle class Americans are most at-risk, we should all be concerned about buying American — because why would anyone choose to support companies that cause hardships for U.S. families? When each manufacturing job creates 5-8 additional jobs — such as suppliers, accountants, technical support, distributors, sales personnel, and more — when the middle class loses jobs, their buying power decreases. U.S. companies go out of business and American families’ ability to purchase goods and services evaporates.

But, when Americans buy from U.S. companies, demand increases. Rising demand results in more factories and plants, job opportunities open up, and Americans once again gain an economic footing. Buying power rises, and American businesses and their employees regain financial health.

The power of change is in our wallets. We are in control of our country’s future every time we make a purchase. So choose wisely!

Safety Glasses USA‘s Made in the USA Products

  • Eyewear – The only styles and brands you’d want no matter where in the world they were made — so lucky for us they’re made right here! Check out our Oakley, Smith Elite, and Wiley X lines, just to name a few!
  • Goggles – Many jobs, hobbies, and environments require the protection and features only safety goggles can provide. That’s why our selection meets almost any need.
  • ANSI Z87+ Safety Glasses and Goggles – With 3M, ESS, Oakley, Radians, Revisions, Uvex, Universal, and Wiley X to choose from, how can you go wrong?
  • Hearing Protection – Products made by only the best: DeWalt, EAR, Elvex, Moldex, and Radians.
  • Hard Hats – Provide vital head protection while on the job. Our durable and comfortable hard hats are from the manufacturers you know and trust.
  • Respirators – Moldex respirators don’t just look different, they are different. Easy to put on and fit, the contoured shape doesn’t require constant adjustment. They resist collapsing in heat and humidity as well. Moldex also has the only complete line of PVC-free respiratory products.
  • Accessories – Chums Breakaway Retainers, DuraChum Kevlar Retainers, Chums Original Cotton Retainers, SafetyChum Retainers, Pre-moistened Lens Cleaning Towelettes, and Super Strength Anti-Fog Spray.

Five Simple Steps to Promote Patriotic Spending

  • The key: buy products made in the USA!
  • Go to MadeInUSA.com to find and purchase American-made products.
  • If you don’t see the products you want in the stores where you shop, ask them to start stocking them.
  • Promote Patriotic Spending by spreading the word to family and friends.
  • Teach future generations the importance of Patriotic Spending. Their future jobs and way of life are at stake.

It’s when dollars spent on American-made products stay in America that we all benefit. Patriotic Spending protects stable, quality jobs. The money we earn comes back to us again and again. This is called “Recycling Dollars”, and it’s a concept that will make our economy strong again.