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Occupational health nurses and physicians involved in assessing and monitoring hearing status in hearing conservation programs should refer the worker to an audiologist if a significant change in hearing level (≥10 dB at any frequency in either ear) is observed after the worker has had a minimum of 48 hours to recover from environmental noise exposure. Audiological management of the individual with NIHL may include the use of hearing aids, aural rehabilitation, and assistive listening devices to help improve some of the communication dysfunction experienced in certain listening situation. What, if any, strategies are implemented depends largely on the severity of the communication handicap produced by the noise exposure and the listening needs of the individual.



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