Having good hearing health is a fundamental pillar for daily life and work. However, the new dynamics imposed by the Pandemic, where teleworking is predominant in many companies, could cause damage to the auditory organs of workers.
According to Ferllini Aguilar, audiologist at audiologiaEnCasa.com, a platform that provides audiological exams at home, this would be happening because many people, due to the Pandemic, keep using headphones throughout their day to attend their virtual meetings, and listen to more video or audio from mobile devices or computers.
“The use of the headphones alone is not bad. The bad thing is that many teleworkers are using them for long hours, and also, due to the constant noise in homes, they must turn up the volume of their headphones to the maximum. This combination causes hearing fatigue, which puts great pressure on the ears. This, in the long term, produces hearing loss,” Aguilar explained.
The specialist pointed out that there are certain symptoms that can indicate to the teleworker is suffering from auditory fatigue. Some are: starting to feel headaches, general discomfort, wanting to remove the headset due to discomfort in the ear, as well as feeling of relief in the ear when removing the headset.
In addition, noticing that we are turning up the volume on the television or radio more, and constantly asking other people to repeat what they said, are signs that the worker already suffers from hearing loss.
But how can a telecommuter take care of his hearing? Here are provided 6 recommendations:
1) If possible use external headphones. That is, those that have a headband and cover the entire ear on the outside. The headphones that are inserted into the ears, such as those of cell phones, being closer to the eardrum at high volume, it generates that it receives constant sound blows.
2) Use headphones with low volume. It is not recommended that the volume exceed 60% of the earpiece capacity. The 60/60 rule should be used; that is, do not turn the volume above 60% and use the headphones for only 60 minutes.
3) If the headphones must be used for long hours, take 10-minute breaks for each hour of use. This will allow our hearing aid to rest, reducing hearing fatigue.
4) Wearing headphones for long hours can cause itching inside the ear. When this happens, you must avoid inserting objects that can hurt the hearing aid. It is normal in virtual meetings to observe teleworkers inserting pencils into their ears, for example.
5) Get an annual hearing checkup. Hearing damage is cumulative. This means that every time we are exposed to excessive noise, the ear accumulates damage, generating irreversible hearing loss. The ear begins to age from the age of 20, but from the age of 50 we begin to notice hearing loss.
6) Do not self-medicate hearing aids or hearing aids without first having an audiological check-up. Now it is normal to observe supermarkets or social media pages that sell hearing aids. However, if we use any device that is not configured or medicated for our specific condition, it can cause further damage to the ear.
Currently there are platforms that help people prevent hearing ailments. Through them we connect patients with hearing problems with professionals who have the tools and knowledge to treat them. For example, the specialist can come to your home and evaluates your problem through a clinical examination that allows to know the type and degree of hearing loss that the patient has. All in a very comfortable way without leaving your home, or exposing yourself to the COVID-10 situation we are experiencing.
For specialists, people do not pay much attention to hearing loss, since this is a situation that occurs very quietly. However, it is extremely important to take care of our hearing. “The ear is unfortunately a very neglected organ. Awareness must be generated so that all people with audiological ailments, and those who wish to prevent them, have access to have their hearing checked, the experts concluded.