Your hearing loss and safety
Experiencing hearing loss can pose a safety threat to your and others' health. While you may feel uncomfortable in social situations, the real issue arises when you're on the road or in an emergency. Not being able to hear alarms, sirens, construction or traffic can lead to a dangerous situation that could be prevented with the help of hearing aids.
Some states across the country require hearing tests for individuals with a driver's license. When at the DMV, if you check 'yes' for hearing impairment, a restriction of "hearing aid or full-view mirror" may be added to your driver's license. Being able to hear while driving is incredibly important.
You must be able to recognize the sounds of police cars, fire trucks, construction and railroad signals. Have you ever been driving in a parking lot, backing out of a space or trying to parallel park and another car honks to alert you of their presence? Individuals with hearing loss might miss these signals and pull out, resulting on an accident.
Whether in your home or out in public, being able to hear emergency signals is imperative. Although tornado sirens are intended to be loud enough for the regional public to hear, if you live in a home that is far from a station, the alarm may not be completely audible.
People who have the television volume on high or are inside with the windows closed may have even more issues with hearing the signals. Indoor alarms like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are equally important to hear, and people with severe hearing loss can have trouble with this.
Even more concern arises when it comes to sleeping through a fire alarm, as many people will not wake to the common noise of an alarm in their hallway if they have hearing loss. Depending on the pitch and frequency of an alarm, individuals with hearing loss could sleep through the noise.
If you like to spend you afternoons walking, hiking or biking in your neighborhood, it's very important to be able to hear the traffic around you. This is especially vital if you are biking on a main road or along a sidewalk in your area. The quiet roar of an oncoming car can be missed by someone with even mild hearing loss, and those with more extreme cases may not hear the honk of horn, a police or fire siren, or construction zone noises.
Although employers are responsible for creating a safe work environment, employees with hearing loss may be put in harm's way more frequently than those with normal hearing. Whether you work in an environment with moving vehicles, forklifts, warning bells or other machines, or an office, a loss of hearing can prove to be dangerous. Individuals working in a warehouse where items can fall off high shelves may also be put into an unsafe situation, and could potentially lead to an injury.