Ears, both the inner ear and outer ear, are affected by the environment around them. The most common hazards are temperature, noise and particles in the air or water. Extreme temperatures both hot and cold have been known to affect the inner ear by causing conditions like ‘Swimmer’s Ear’. Construction sites and bodies of water are filled with all sorts of dust, dirt and other foreign bodies that can cause inflammation, tinnitus or infections if not properly treated.
Unlike the typical office job where someone can expect to be in an air conditioned room where elements like temperature, particles and pressure are controlled, there are many workers such as persons of trade who are exposed to environments that can be damaging to their ears.
Some jobs require a person to be put under pressure that can put their ears at risk. Both those who dive deep underwater and those who fly high above the clouds face differing altitudes that put pressure on their ears differently than most workers who stay on land.
Jobs with loud noises tend to cause noise-induced hearing loss over time. For the short term, loud and dusty environments can cause tinnitus and inflammation or infection. Other jobs that cause pressure to the inner ear can cause long term effects to the inner ear over time and also may cause vertigo or dizziness.
Be mindful of the many dangers lurking and preying on the innocent ear. Companies can help by keeping equipment and machinery well-maintained and up-to-date, soundproofing the workplace and providing employees quality hearing protection.