Blog: Preventing Hearing Loss in Your Dentistry Career

Did you know prolonged noise may bring about sensorineural hearing loss after some years? Get quality equipment to cover your ears when working with the dentistry equipment and save your hearing quality for the future.

Dentists in most hospitals will be exposed to noise from ultrasonic scalers and other handpieces. These could be at levels of about 60-99 decibels. This level has minimal risks to hearing loss but can lead to huge damages when after a long time. Sustained exposure to this level of noise could bring about sensorineural hearing loss.

As a dentist, you keep telling your patients to brush their teeth three times a day to prevent cavities and other dental issues. How about you also practice some preventive measures and protect your hearing ability. You need to understand that sensorineural hearing loss can be prevented, but it is not reversible.

In any dental practice, there is no way you are going to avoid noisy equipment. That is why we advise you to look for preventive measures and protect your hearing ability. Here is some information that will help prevent loss of your hearing ability.

Symptoms

Sensorineural hearing loss brings about sound distortion, the diminished intensity of sounds, and having difficulty in contemplating complex sounds. You may not hear high tones, and letters such as z, f, and s will not be easily heard. This also means you cannot hold successful conversations with another person in a noisy room.

You will also have difficulties hearing in a noisy environment. In some instances, the loss may be accompanied by buzzing, ringing, or some funny noises in your ear. Hearing loss may occur in different degrees, such as severe, moderate, or mild.

Causes

Hearing loss may occur in diverse forms. Sensorineural is just one of the many. Sensorineural hearing loss will typically come as a result of damaged Corti hair cells in your cochlea. These hair cells in your ear could be damaged by infections, medications, or probably trauma. However, the trauma could most possibly occur because of extreme noises.

Noises surpassing 90 decibels will easily cause trauma. Prolonged loud noises over time will damage the cells in your cochlea. As a dentist, you are exposed to noise from the dental equipment, which will cause problems to your ear after some time, even if it is for a few minutes a day.

The noise level from this equipment has minimal risk, but the prolonged exposure will ultimately damage your hair cells. That is why we advise the use of protective gear to prevent the loss of your hearing ability.

Tips for Preventing Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Due to the prolonged exposure to noise that may damage your hearing ability, you need to apply some strategic preventive measures as a dentist in the long run. You do not want to retire, having lost your hearing ability.

  • Put on noise-canceling equipment. When working with the dentist's equipment, always wear earplugs or headphones that cancel noise. That should reduce the impact of the noise on your ear over time.
  • Take note of the noise level. Before purchasing the dental equipment for use at the facility, you want to know what noise level it produces. If there is a quality option with a low noise level, then you can consider that.
  • Test your hearing ability. Due to the prolonged exposure to noise, it is advisable to go for a check-up and determine your hearing ability status.
  • Monitor the hearing ability often. You need to find any issue in your ability to hear early enough to start the treatment process.