Preventing Acoustic Shock Injuries in the Workplace

Acoustic shock injury is a very common injury for employees and workers who work with a telephone all the time. It is caused by constant exposure to abrupt and highly unexpected high pitched tones, shrieks, or other sounds and noises that occur within telephone networks. This may not be a deadly and fatal injury but it could impair and disable the affected person.

Constantly listening to loud volumes may also be a cause of acoustic shock injury. If your average listening volume is something that your seatmate or other co-workers can hear, it could be that you are listening to your caller too loudly which could potentially impair your hearing ability. It is best to always set the volume of your telephone to medium to prevent acoustic shock injury brought about by loud volumes.

However, acoustic shock injury is not as simple as one may think it is. The injury is not caused by faulty equipment or even because a particular headset or telephone is of poor quality. It is also not caused by telecommunications network or any other equipment. High pitched tones happen at random and can occur no matter your network or equipment. It can hardly be traced, which is therefore hard to prevent.

Effects of Acoustic Shock Injury

If you suffered from this injury, you could be experiencing some of the effects this injury can bring to one’s life. Stress and anxiety is one that injured people can experience. Apprehension is another effect they could be experiencing due to recurring incidents even at low noise levels. Anxiety can increase if the affected person is exposed again to high noise levels.

Symptoms of Acoustic Shock Injury

If you are afraid that you may have incurred this injury already, here are the symptoms to help you determine. However, it is still best to consult with your physician to get a clear medical advice if you happen to have one or more of the symptoms listed below:

  • Earache
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Jaw and neck pains
  • The ear has a hollow feeling
  • Fluttering sounds in the ear that can lead to poor balancing skills
  • The face and head area experiences a burning sensation
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ear and hearing loss over time
  • The ears become permanently sensitive to loud noises affecting the lifestyle
  • Inner ear membranes are already weakened as acoustic shock injury can cause the inner ear membrane to tear

Protection Devices

Hearing protection devices have been around in the market for many years now. They are not heavily utilized but they can really help people constantly exposed to high pitched tones decrease risks of acoustic shock injuries. There are quality headsets you can also find the provide protection from extremely loud sounds.

Acoustic shock injury may not lead to death but it can definitely cause impairment and permanent disability to affected person. As much as possible; try to lower the volume of the telephone or headset to lessen the chances and risks of suffering an acoustic shock injury.