Question about Occupational Noise Exposure

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (Archived Answers)' started by Adam007, Jun 4, 2015.

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    1. Adam007

      Adam007 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Dr. Nagler,

      I hope all is well. I have been reading your threads ever since I was diagnosed with tinnitus and hyperacusis 15 months ago. I am very grateful for what you do and how much you support you provide to this community.

      This past week, started my summer internship. The job is in a corporate office style building; however, because I am on the top floor, the A/C runs relatively loud. I used my decibel meter to measure the sound and it ranges from 58-63db. I know that this isn't loud enough to cause any hearing loss, but I'm concerned because after an 8 hour shift of being exposed to the constant droning noise, my ears feel tired. The best way to describe it is similar to the fatigue your ears feel after a long flight. My perception of my tinnitus is louder than it normally is after a shift as well.

      Should I be concerned about working in this environment 40 hours a week all summer long? Or is it better to speak to HR about moving my desk to another floor if possible? I'm assuming you would advise against using earplugs in an environment that doesn't necessarily warrant them.

      I would greatly appreciate if you could weigh in on the situation as I am trying to proactively prevent a relapse of sound sensitivity/change in tinnitus.

      Thank you,

    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you for the kind words. Glad to help.

      You are correct. It is not loud enough to cause any damage to your auditory system.

      So as I see it, this now becomes an issue of whether or not you can do your best work in a certain environment, which is a totally different issue. If you have an office to yourself, you might first try playing music you enjoy and find relaxing softly through a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker (or something similar) to sort of compete with the sound of the air conditioner. (I am not a real fan of headphones or earbuds for prolonged use.)

      That would be Plan B. But if you go that route, be sure you stress to HR that the reason you want to move is so you can do the very best job possible for the company.

      Right, Adam. Excellent. You have been reading my posts. If the internship doesn't work out, perhaps you can move to Atlanta and help me in my clinic! :)

      No way of knowing for sure in any given case, but I really don't think you're at significant risk for that. From my point of view, this is more a question of placing yourself in a comfortable environment wherein you can do your best work.

      You are most welcome.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler

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