Noise Induced Hearing Loss - Communication

If you wear hearing protectors, do you find it hard to communicate with others? Please share your experience.

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Do hearing protectors prevent a person from communicating with others?

The answer is no, at least for people with normal hearing. In fact, just as sunglasses help vision in very bright light, hearing protectors enhance speech understanding in very noisy places. Even in a quiet setting, a normal-hearing person wearing hearing protectors should be able to understand a regular conversation.

Hearing protectors do slightly reduce the ability of those with damaged hearing or poor comprehension of language to understand normal conversation. Nevertheless, it is essential that persons with impaired hearing wear earplugs or earmuffs to prevent further inner ear damage from noise.

It has been argued that hearing protectors might reduce a worker's ability to hear the noises that signify an improperly functioning machine. Most workers, however, readily adjust to the quieter sounds and can still detect such problems.

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