Noise-induced hearing loss is much more common than one may think though it can be quite easily avoided and therefore preventable. Hearing loss can be triggered by experiencing a variety of loud sounds. Sound is measured in units called decibels, sounds at the level of up 70 are safe even after long term exposure and are unlikely to cause hearing loss.
It is sounds of 85 or above that can be detrimental to one’s hearing. The louder the sound the shorter time it takes to damage one’s hearing. The CDC has stated that 17 percent of adults ages 20 to 69 are affected by permanent ear damage from hearing loud noises, which is approximately 26 million people.
To lower the possibility of noise-induced hearing loss, it is important for everyone to remember to adopt behaviors that will safeguard their hearing. These include limiting and possibly avoiding altogether exposure to excessively loud sounds, along with turning down the volume of music and to play it at a reasonable volume, move away from sources of loud noises that cannot be adjusted when possible and when not use hearing protection devices such as noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. These may help in reducing sound to safe levels if they cannot be adjusted personally.
If you are concerned about any potential hearing loss, please seek attention from a licensed audiologist or another qualified professional such as your doctor.
It is also important to understand how one’s life may become affected by noise-induced hearing loss. It can lead to communication complications as well as learning complications. Along with the possibility of tinnitus, which involves pain or ringing in the ears, distorted or muffled hearing, and lacking the ability to hear some environmental sound and warning signals.
There is a selection of loud noises that can cause noise-induced hearing loss such as lawnmowers or other landscaping tools such as leaf blowers, snowmobiles, power tools, chainsaws, farm machinery, rock concerts or sporting events, gunfire, loud music from personal stereos, cd players or mp3 players and even certain children’s toys.
Hearing these loud noises over an extended period can damage the nerve fibers of the inner ear causing them to not respond as well to sound. This condition can also result from a one-time exposure to a very loud sound such as gunfire in close proximity of the ear or standing too close to a jet engine igniting or an explosion. Avoiding these types of noises if at all possible is one of the best ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.