Does Sensitive Hearing Increase Risk of Hearing Loss?

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rats_and_cats
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13 Oct 2016, 11:51 pm

I ask this because I'm concerned that I may be doing damage to my hearing. I have a job that requires me to stand next to speakers and be exposed to noises such as whistles and screaming (football filmer). I work twice a week and usually I remember earplugs but sometimes I run out or forget. I'm worried that the days I forget will add up and cause me to lose hearing. Even though many consider sound sensitivity to be a disadvantage, as a wildlife photographer it's been very helpful as it helps me locate animals and be quiet around them. I have a decibel meter app on my phone, and the highest I've recorded the speakers at is 75, maybe 76 decibels. From the platform where I work, whistles can sometimes get this loud but mostly are around 70. The threshold for hearing loss is considered to be 80, but with how close the numbers are and with how bad my tinnitus gets after a day of work with no earplugs, I'm worried about my hearing. Does sound sensitivity lower the threshold for hearing loss, does it not change anything, or is there not enough information to decide? The only thing I could find when I googled it was a bunch of articles about how people with hearing loss can experience sensitivity to loud noise.



izzeme
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14 Oct 2016, 2:51 am

Phone sounds meters arent extremely accurate, due to the mic being optimised for voices.

In response to the question; no, sound sensitivity has no (direct) effect on hearing loss.
There might be an indirect effect, but its inverse: high sensitivity makes you wear earbuds or leave the area sooner, making it less likely to get damage.

That said: 75 dB is at the upper limit of "annoying but safe", job health advisors indeed advice protection for extended periods of 73+