AS a former tradie, Simone Jolly is fully aware of the health risks of working in noisy environments.
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Now a Salamander Bay based Audiology Partner with Specsavers, Simone is calling for all local tradies to get on top of their hearing health.
“In the eighties and nineties I was an electrician in the local area, so I have the perspective from both sides.
“Working in a noisy environment can damage the hearing. Sometimes people aren’t always aware of the risks.”
Simone says that all local tradespeople should be aware of the dangers and seek preventative measures early.
“We have a couple of hundred of tradies in the area if not more. Damage can occur through a one off impulse sound or it can be a cumulative effect over many years.
“If you’re not wearing hearing protection, you may be doing considerably more damage,” she said.
Simone says on average people wait between seven and ten years before taking action against hearing loss.
“There are a lot of people out there doing a lot of noisy jobs so we see a lot of people coming through, particularly later in life, when it has caught up with them a bit more before they decide to do something about it.
“One of the risk factors is really not doing anything about it.”
Simone said that often the impacts of working in loud environments were felt in later life.
“With a cumulative effect, hearing can continue to deteriorate. You are at risk of missing some quality of life, you may not be able to hear some of the things you’d like to hear.
“You might have more trouble communicating with your family. It can lead to things such as depression and other conditions that people may not think about. It’s really important to protect your hearing.”
If you are worried about your hearing health, Simone recommends a visit to a local audiologist.
“There is a lot we can do. Whether that is something like hearing aids or ear plugs, we have a whole range of things which can help in those environments.
“We can test and identify what might be going on, and monitor the results. Or we can take immediate action and be proactive, for example providing people with custom earplugs.”
August is Tradies National Health Month, which aims to raise awareness of the risks posed to those who work in trade occupations.
By Doug CONNOR