Daily Health Headlines

1 in 8 U.S. Workers Has Some Hearing Loss: CDC

👤by HealthDay 0 comments 🕔Friday, April 22nd, 2016

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 13 percent of U.S. workers suffer from at least some hearing loss, a new federal government study finds.

And 2 percent of the more than 1.4 million workers tested across nine industry sectors between 2003 and 2012 had "moderate or worse" hearing loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The agency defined moderate hearing loss as "difficulty hearing another person talking, even in a quiet place or on the phone."

Workers in the mining, construction and manufacturing sectors were especially prone to noise-linked hearing loss, the new report found.

One expert wasn't surprised by the findings.

"Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States, and is more prevalent than diabetes or cancer," said Katrien Vermeire, director of hearing and speech at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels."

The study looked at the results of hearing tests called audiograms, conducted on workers in various occupations across the United States.

The research found mining to be the toughest industry on the ears, with 17 percent of employees having some form of hearing impairment. These workers also had the highest rate of exposure to "hazardous" noise, with 76 percent experiencing such exposures.

The construction industry came in a close second in terms of hearing-impaired workers, at 16 percent, while manufacturing came in third at 14 percent.

Fewer manufacturing workers (37 percent) are exposed to hazardous noise levels, the CDC team said, but in sheer numbers of workers, they now make up "the largest number of workers with hearing impairment."

In fact, certain subsectors in the manufacturing industry -- wood products, apparel and machinery manufacturing -- have people with hearing impairment levels that rival those of miners, the study found.

The research was led by Elizabeth Masterson of the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Her team stressed that most workplace ear damage is unnecessary.

"Occupational hearing loss is a permanent but entirely preventable condition with today's hearing loss prevention strategies and technology," the researchers wrote.

Vermeire agreed. "Noise-induced hearing loss is almost entirely preventable," she said. "Make sure to wear hearing protection devices -- such as earplugs or earmuffs -- when you are involved in loud activities, either at work or when involved in noisy recreational activities."

Vermeire also stressed, "If you're exposed to hazardous noise on the job, annual hearing tests are important to identify any change in hearing that might indicate under-protection from the noise."

Dr. Darius Kohan is chief of otology/neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He noted that in the new study, "employees who utilize ear protection in noisy environments, such as firemen, police, ambulance workers, had the lowest prevalence of hearing loss -- demonstrating how proper noise protection can be achieved with minimal effort."

Kohan also believes that "there are very strict OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] regulations for loud noise exposure to prevent work-related hearing loss, but few industries adhere to them."

The study was published April 21 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

-- E.J. Mundell

Article Credits / Source

HealthDay

HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Katrien Vermeire, Ph.D., director, Hearing and Speech, Hearing and Speech Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Darius Kohan, M.D., chief, otology/neurotology, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York City; April 21, 2016, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

View More Articles From HealthDay 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Hearing Articles

Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections

Study Suggests Genetic Link to Middle Ear Infections0

FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they've found a potential genetic link to a child's higher risk of middle ear infections. These painful infections are the most frequent reason kids are given antibiotics, according to ...

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss

New Clues to Age-Related Hearing Loss0

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- When background noise makes it hard to carry on a conversation, many older people chalk it up to hearing loss. But a new, small study finds that the problem may not just be in your ear, but also in your ...

Swimmer's Ear

Swimmer's Ear0

Ear pain can be caused by conditions within the ear, the ear canal, or it may affect visible portions of the ear. Infections of the ear include infections of the middle ear (otitis media), outer ear (swimmer's ear or otitis externa). An earache also ...

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss0

Everyone. No matter how old or young you are, too much exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing. Whether it's the screech of a chain saw, the sudden blast of a hunting rifle, or the roar of a lawn mower, exposure to loud sounds can ...

Meniere Disease

Meniere Disease0

Meniere's disease does not have a cure yet, but your doctor might recommend some of the treatments below to help you cope with the condition. Medications. The most disabling symptom of an attack of Meniere's disease is dizziness. Prescription ...

View More Hearing Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!