The Importance of implementing a Comprehensive Hearing Conservation Programme
It will probably be a shock to most people to learn that approximately 466 million people around the world are affected by hearing loss to an extent that is considered disabling. This works out to about 5% of the population or one out of every 20 people on the planet. Furthermore, the World Health Organisation estimates that the figure could rise to over 900 million by 2050. More disturbing than these figures, however, is the fact that more than half can be attributed to causes that are preventable with either improved healthcare or a hearing conservation programme.
How Likely Are You to Develop Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
It is not uncommon to experience some degree of auditory impairment as you age. Known as presbycusis, auditory acuity begins to lessen towards the end of the third decade and continues to decline slowly, often without any noticeable difficulties until quite late in life. Some individuals may be born deaf and others become so as a result of ear infections, certain illnesses, or injury. While such incidences are essentially unavoidable, the most common form of hearing loss encountered today is noise-induced and preventable with just a few simple precautions.
For many of the Gautengers now contending with the onset of winter, the concept of ear protection is unlikely to extend much further than thoughts of a thick woollen scarf or a beanie to keep those vulnerable, exposed appendages warm. In practice, however, there is a far more important reason to keep them covered up, and it has nothing to do with the weather. More prevalent today than at any other time in the past, and on the increase worldwide, that more important role is to protect the wearer from the risk of noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL.