Their jobs are among the loudest in the world, frequently topping out well above 85 decibels (dB) - the threshold after which sound can cause hearing damage. 

Some even regularly climb above 125 dB, the pain threshold for sound. In short, unless people in the following careers wear adequate hearing protection, they're looking at long-term damage to their ears, which may eventually culminate in permanent hearing loss. But what exactly makes these jobs so abnormally loud?

Bartenders

In bars and clubs around the world, bartenders and other personnel are exposed to noise levels of up to 110 dB for hours every day.  Worse, they frequently fail to use adequate hearing protection. As with musicians, it may be worthwhile for nightclub personnel to look into purchasing some high-quality earplugs.

Runway marshalers

From just a few feet away, jet engines are excruciatingly loud. Without reinforced hearing protection, one's ears would be irreparably damaged within minutes.

Musicians

Musical events are loud, but there's a bit of variance here. Classical musicians, on average, must deal with noise levels of around 95 dB. Musicians in genres such as rock and metal, on the other hand, are exposed to 110 dB or higher on a regular basis.

High-fidelity or electrical earplugs are an absolute must for musicians of all stripes, lest they end up with permanent hearing issues such as tinnitus.

Dentists

You've gotten dental work done, so you know firsthand that dental equipment has a very distinct sound to it. That whining and droning can bring noise levels up to an average of 90 dB. While this is manageable in small bursts, dentists and dental assistants are around this din for multiple hours a day, in much closer proximity than aural safety should allow. 

Road construction workers

Those of us who live downtown have, on at least on occasion, had to deal with the sound of road construction. Imagine how loud it is if you're actually on-site. Although construction sites are generally off-limits without PPE, augurs and jackhammers are still bone-vibratingly loud.

Care For Your Ears

Just because you don't work in one of the professions listed above, doesn't mean your ears are completely safe from harm. There are still plenty of potential ways you might suffer hearing damage from just your day-to-day. From exposure to sudden noise to loud events like sports games and concerts, there's virtually no limit to the ways you can potentially damage your hearing.

That's why even if you don't work in one of the world's loudest jobs, it's important that you invest in good aural health. This includes purchasing the right hearing protection, getting your hearing regularly tested by an audiologist, and staying vigilant for the most common signs of impending hearing loss. These include:
  • Muffling of fine sounds such as speech
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Issues with balance
  • Hyperacuity
  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
It's also important to understand that if you do suffer workplace-related hearing loss, you may be entitled to worker's compensation if your injury is debilitating enough. Contact your local worker's compensation board for more details. And in the meantime, sign up for a free hearing exam and consultation via Connect Hearing.