Whether you manage a concert venue, construction site or even a corporate office, it’s important that your employees know that hearing loss is preventable and that they understand the warning signs. Read more to learn about Atrium Health’s audiometry testing.

Employer Solutions | 5 months ago

The Importance of Employee Audiometry Testing

Whether you manage a concert venue, construction site or even a corporate office, it’s important that your employees know that hearing loss is preventable and that they understand the warning signs. Read more to learn about Atrium Health’s audiometry testing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 22 million workers are exposed to potentially harmful noise at work each year. As an employer, this makes it extremely important to inform your employees that hearing loss is preventable, offer proper screenings and teach them the potential warning signs.

Why to consider employee audiometry testing

Exposure to loud noise can kill nerve endings in the inner ear. The more harmful noise employees are exposed to, the higher their risk for having large numbers of dead nerve endings and permanent hearing loss. This cannot be corrected via surgery or medicine.

Aside from limiting employees’ ability to hear high-frequency sounds and understand speech, noise-induced hearing loss seriously impairs their ability to communicate. In addition, studies have shown that prolonged noise exposure can be a contributing factor to other health issues such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and poor sleep at night. 

The following are a few auditory symptoms your team members should look out for:

  • Hearing ringing or humming in their ears when they leave work.
  • Having to be shouted at to hear a coworker an arm's length away.
  • Experiencing temporary hearing loss when leaving work.

A Hearing Conservation Program is important for employers to identify hearing loss in their employees as early as possible and initiate protective follow-up measures before hearing loss progresses. In some cases, this includes annual audiology testing for all employees and when an employee experiences symptoms of hearing loss.

If one of your employees is experiencing any of these symptoms, ensure that they have the proper hearing protection for their line of work. Then, make an online reservation for audiometry testing at an Atrium Health occupational medicine Urgent Care by going to AtriumHealth.org/OccMed. During this test, we will screen for both occupational and non-occupational noise exposure. If your employee has had a baseline audiogram performed while under employment with you, please send a copy with the employee for comparison. This is important to see if there has been a shift in the test results.

What to expect during audiometry testing

At Atrium Health, our audiometry tests are quick, affordable and performed in a COVID-Safe environment. And unlike other hearing tests, we use advanced technology that doesn’t require being in a sound-proof booth.

At the start of each testing appointment, patients will be given headphones and an iPad for a quick and easy assessment in the clinical office. While tests can be administered or assisted by our qualified medical experts if need be, most of our tests can be self-administered in about 20 minutes, enabling physical distance between the test administrator and the patient.

Following the assessment, our screening professionals will interpret test results and immediately provide feedback to the patient and their employer.

All hardware components are thoroughly disinfected prior to use and include protective coverings.

How to schedule an appointment

At Atrium Health, we offer 90 audiometry testing time slots per day among 10 different occupational medicine Urgent Care locations. Appointments are available 7 days a week between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and can be scheduled up to 14 days in advance.

To schedule an audiometry appointment for one or more of your employees, please visit AtriumHealth.org/OccMed.