The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. is occupational hearing loss, and many of those experiencing the reduction in hearing are men.

“We get a lot of men coming in because their wives tell them they can’t hear,” said University Health System audiologist Dr. Robin Tellez.

“They are coming in when they have complaints that they are having a hard time hearing, they are having ringing in their ears, dizziness or things like that,” she said.

The CDC said any sound more than 85 decibels could cause hearing loss. Some of those include a hair dryer at 90 decibles, a bulldozer at 105, a chain saw at 110 decibels, and something very common in south Texas, noise from a 12-gauge shotgun which registers at 165 decibels.

“Most common, what we see in this region are hunters who don’t wear earplugs, or people that do lots of recreational shooting going out at the range,” said Dr. Tellez.

At the University Health System Hearing and Balance Center, they have a simple and painless way to test a patient’s hearing.

“We will do one task where we try to get the lowest recognized speech,” she said. They do this by repeating words they hear like room, nice, said, fail and south.

Doctors said parents should start teaching their children about protecting their hearing early in life. “They should be monitoring how loud they have the volume turned up with the iPod or MP3 player, whatever they are using,” said Dr. Tellez.

By taking the right steps to protect your hearing, you can prevent hearing loss and limit the amount of time you’ll need to wear that gown.

If you think you may be experiencing hearing loss, you can contact University Health System’s Hearing and Balance Center at 210-358-4583, or check out their website here.

(© 2016 KENS)
Real Men Wear Gowns: Preventing hearing loss

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