By Staff Sgt. Anna McQueary Henson, 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron NCOIC occupational health
/ Published May 26, 2020
Airman 1st Class Sidney McDonough, a public health technician with the 6th Medical Group, ensures that hearing testing equipment is functioning properly before administering an audiogram. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The occupational health section of public health monitors active duty and civilian employees on the hearing conservation program by conducting audiograms annually. We also perform Army, Marine and Navy hearing tests for their annual requirement for duty. In addition, we also accomplish pre-deployment, post-deployment and separation health physical assessment audiograms.
Public Health technicians perform a functional check and daily calibration on the hearing booths each day to ensure that they are working properly. After each audiogram, we educate members on how to maintain their hearing by using hearing protection at work and while doing activities outside of work that involve hazardous noise. Common rule is, if you are three feet away from someone and have to shout for him or her to hear you, then you are in a hazardous noise situation. Some situations that would require hearing protection outside of work are using power tools, mowing your lawn, or going to a concert.
There are many different choices when deciding on which hearing protection that works best for you. There are ear muffs, foam, or flange earplugs. The formable foam earplugs are disposable, but when inserted correctly they are a great choice for hearing protection. The flange earplugs are reusable if you wash them with mild soap, water and letting them air dry after each use. Earmuffs are reusable as well, but may be difficult for people with glasses to wear.
As a reminder, hearing protection is cheaper than hearing aids and there is no cure for hearing loss. Maintaining your hearing is crucial for good communication with coworkers, friends and family. Protect your hearing and stay safe!
For additional information or to schedule an audiogram, please contact occupational health at (813) 827-9601, option 5.