Announcements over the PA system; noise from lunchrooms; noise from gymnasiums; noise from choir, music, and band classrooms; noise from industrial technology classes; excited chatter in hallways, bells ringing, and slamming lockers present an overlooked danger to teachers’ hearing health. Safe hearing guidelines have been the focus for industrial technology, construction, and manufacturing jobs because of obvious risks. But teachers have a greater risk for developing hearing loss than other professions, now, according to researchers.
You might think that people working in industrial technology, construction, and manufacturing jobs still have more hearing loss than teachers, but that is supposedly not the case. Safety regulations are in place for other jobs. According to studies, noise-induced hearing loss among teachers begins at a much younger age than with other occupations, studies say. Also, while students spend short times in noisy environments, teachers experience a longer duration. Physical education teachers, industrial technology teachers, music teachers, and coaches all have the most exposure over a longer period of time.
A lot of teachers also have tinnitus, in addition to hearing loss, which makes hearing all the more challenging. Many teachers leave their hearing loss untreated, mainly because insurance either covers nothing or very little--even though there is usually ample eye and dental coverage. Awareness about hearing health is being raised to promote better coverage.
If you have hearing loss and are a teacher, please contact a hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test.