How to protect your hearing in industrial premises

Questions and answers about noise protection

We have collected a series of answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding hearing safety and noise protection in the workplace.

For any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

In the context of hearing protectors, overprotection is the characteristic of ear protectors that tend to acoustically isolate the person from the surrounding environment.

If, on the one hand, this hyper-protection effectively preserves the hearing system, on the other hand it totally isolates the worker, not allowing him to remain in contact with the environment and exposing him to danger.

Aphonour ear protectors are personal, built by faithfully reproducing the shape of each subject’s auricle.
In this way there is total adherence of the ear protector inside the ear, thus ensuring optimal protection against noise.

Disposable ear protectors, made of spongy material, also adhere perfectly to the auricle, guaranteeing discreet protection. The big disadvantage of this type of protector is that it is difficult to handle and wash, making it uncomfortable in everyday work.

Disposable ear defenders are made of rubbery or spongy material and offer good protection against noise. However, they have numerous disadvantages: they are uncomfortable to handle, they do not guarantee an adequate level of hygiene and they are impractical in everyday life. For these reasons the worker tends not to wear them, thus exposing himself to noise.

Aphonour ear protectors are made of rigid material: being made from the cast of the auricle, they adhere perfectly, offering optimal protection, without isolating the operator from the external environment. They can be washed with normal soap and water and therefore guarantee an adequate level of hygiene .

The other great advantage is that they can be easily manipulated and worn, making them extremely practical in daily use.

Unlike disposable ear protectors, Aphonour ear protectors last several years , drastically reducing the dispersion of plastic material into the environment.

In the context of workplace safety, noise can be defined as exposure to sound stimuli of different origins; above the 80 decibel threshold, noise can cause damage to the hearing system and health in general.
In particular, for every increase of 3 decibels the risk to hearing increases by 100%.

In the volume “Health and safety in artisan businesses and SMEs: what you need to know and what you see done” drawn up by OPRA Lombardia, harmful effects of noise are reported not only at the level of the hearing system, but also of the circulatory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system and the neuropsychic system.

Professional ear defenders offer adequate protection from noise, which allows you to preserve the health of your hearing system.

In noisy environments it is necessary thathearing protectors are always worn correctly : even a single exposure to loud noise can cause permanent damage to the hearing system.

Noise has several negative health effects. High sound levels cause permanent hearing damage but, even at low levels, noise can cause physical and mental disorders.

Noise is perceived as annoying, and causes an alert response in the body: stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released; heart rate increases, as do blood pressure and respiratory rate.

The direct consequences for health can be:

  • nervousness, tension, aggression
  • tiredness and depression
  • hypertension
  • concentration disorders and decreased performance
  • cardiovascular diseases

Loud noise can cause acoustic trauma to the hearing system, which causes damage to the hair cells of the inner ear.

Acute acoustic trauma occurs following exposure to noise above 140 decibels, which is for a limited time (a few seconds). In this case the damage may be temporary.

Chronic acoustic trauma occurs, however, with prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels: if exposure to noise is repeated over time, there is a strong risk of permanent damage to the auditory system .

Tinnitus , also called ringing, is an auditory disorder that usually manifests itself with the perception of a whistle or a continuous buzz of more or less high intensity. In some cases it can be very annoying, negatively affecting the quality of life of the person who suffers from it.

Tinnitus is not considered a pathology; it can arise due to multiple factors, such as neurological damage, ear infection, oxidative stress, emotional stress.

Exposure to loud noises can also cause the onset of tinnitus.

Occupational hearing loss is a disease that manifests as decreased hearing due to prolonged exposure to loud noises.

There is also a form of congenital hearing loss, but it should be emphasized that in 40% of cases, this disorder is caused by chronic acoustic trauma due to noise exposure in an occupational environment.

Both ears are usually affected symmetrically. The damage caused by noise is almost always irreversible.

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The best monolithic ear protector for industrial use