October is National Protect Your Hearing Month and we’re looking at practical ways that you can help protect your hearing in day-to-day life. Did you know that 48 million people in the U.S. have difficulty hearing in one or both ears? Most people don’t get warning signs when their hearing is being negatively impacted. This means that you could permanently lose part of your hearing before having any sort of pain or noticeable difference. The good thing, however, is that noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable! Learning how you can take care of your hearing health sooner rather than later can help prevent loss in the future.
Avoid Loud Noises
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many noises are louder than you think! Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) and the higher the decibel, the louder the noise. The standard is any noise over 85 dB can be potentially harmful, especially if one is exposed to the noise for an extended time.
Some day-to-day noises that you might be exposed to have the following decibel levels:
- whispering – 30dB
- conversation – 60dB
- busy traffic – 70 to 85dB
- motorbike – 90dB
- listening to music on full volume through headphones – 100 to 110dB
- plane taking off – 120dB
As you can see, things like traffic and listening to music through your headphones can be at or above the harmful noise level. This means that extra precaution needs to be taken if these noises are everyday occurrences for you.
Wear Proper Hearing Protection
When you’re going to be around noises that are over 85dB, it’s important to wear proper hearing protection to minimize the risk of harm. For example, a lawnmower can range between 80-100dB. If it takes you 45 minutes to mow the front yard and an hour to mow the back, that’s an hour and 45 minutes of loud noise exposure. In this situation, it is best to wear proper-fitting ear muffs or earplugs to minimize the sound level reaching your ears.
Have Your Hearing Tested
To keep an accurate and measurable record of your hearing, you need to regularly get a hearing test done. Even if you don’t think you have any “noticeable hearing loss symptoms” it is still wise to see an audiologist to get your hearing checked. As mentioned above, many people do not experience any sort of pain or warning signs before they experience hearing loss.
If you are experiencing any of the following, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment for a test today:
- Have close relatives with hearing loss
- Have trouble hearing conversations
- Are around loud noises regularly
- Often hear ringing in your ears
At Center for Hearing, we’re committed to helping you protect your hearing and providing resources to hear your best. Visit us today where hearing your best matters the most.