RSS Feed

Farmers second only to construction workers in hearing loss

Marjorie McCullagh, associate professor at University of Michigan School of Nursing, said her research project, HEAR on the Farm, said farmers are extremely vulnerable because the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t regulate noise exposure on farms.Farmer 3

Scientific findings regarding the prevalence of hearing loss among the estimated 1.3 million U.S. farmers varied greatly, with numbers ranging from 17 percent to 72 percent. Noise-induced hearing loss is particularly devastating because it’s irreversible, and hearing aids and surgery don’t help, McCullagh said.

The majority of farmers don’t wear hearing protection but do want to learn more about it, McCullagh said.

The fact that 90 percent of farmers enrolled in her study were still participating supports this, especially when researchers consider retention rates of 30 percent to 50 percent highly successful.

“There are no systems in place to help them,” McCullagh said in a statement. “The farmers are expected to do Farmer 1that on their own.”

McCullagh and Michael Cohen, clinical research coordinator, traveled separately to different parts of the country to recruit participants.

Bruce Breuninger, a fourth-generation farmer in Dexter, Mich., and one of 500 study participants nationwide, said he’s worn hearing protection — only intermittently — but does suffer some hearing loss.

“I probably didn’t wear it as religiously as I do now,” said Breuninger, whose 80-year-old father, also a farmer, suffers profound hearing loss.

Read more:

New Social Media

About Adam Bernstein

Adam Bernstein is the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Milwaukee's premier hearing healthcare facility. As the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Mr. Bernstein has over 20 years of experience in the hearing healthcare industry. He began his career in 1995 at GN Danavox, one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world. After leaving Danavox, Mr. Bernstein opened two hearing healthcare offices in Chicago, IL. In 2001 he moved to Milwaukee, WI and opened The Hearing Professionals. In 2008 he added a second Wisconsin office in the town of Brookfield. Today The Hearing Professionals is the largest private audiology practice in SE Wisconsin. Mr. Bernstein has written numerous articles on hearing healthcare which has appeared in newspapers throughout the country and has been interviewed by news programs regarding advances in the hearing industry. Mr. Bernstein a member of Unitron’s Customer Advisory Board and a graduate of The University of Minnesota. You can email him at and you can visit The Hearing Professionals at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: