Did you know that most people have SOME degree of hearing loss, and aren't even aware of it? It's true. Hearing loss that is gradual over time often goes undetected, but is frequently caused by exposure in the workplace.
Those especially at risk include First Responders, Construction Workers, Factory Workers, and Mine Workers, but continued exposure to any noise over 85 Decibels may cause gradual yet PERMANENT hearing loss. There are OSHA guidelines in place, and many of these occupations require hearing protection which is supplied by the employer, but if the hearing loss is so gradual that it goes undetected by the individual, it can have an affect on one's social abilities.
Noise and gradual hearing loss can hamper work performance, increase irritability, create social anxiety and insecurity, and can even cause physical fatigue. Those who experience gradual hearing loss over time slowly disengage from others, or are a source of irritation as they need increased volume of television, radio or conversation. This can lead to relationship issues, increased isolation and loss of desire to socialize.
Hearing loss CAN be treated! If you suspect you have gradually suffered significant hearing loss to the point that it is affecting your personal and professional life, talk with you physician about options. Hearing loss doesn't have to mean exclusion; you can still retain a great quality of life with the proper treatment and assistive listening devices.