Noise-induced hearing loss affects 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 65. It can be caused by a loud burst of sound which can rupture the eardrum or damage bones in the middle ear. It can also occur gradually over time by listening to loud headphones or subjecting yourself to loud environments.
Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. While there are many obvious places where the volume of sound can get too loud, many places we go in our everyday lives have noise levels loud enough that they can actually damage our hearing.
Noises over 85 decibels are what tends to cause the damage, and we experience sounds of that magnitude every day. Examples of this include heavy city traffic, motorcycles, factory machinery, the lawn mower or snow/leaf blower (most yard power equipment), the hair dryer, a baby crying, airplanes taking off, attempted conversation in a truck, a football game, stock car races, sporting events, loud restaurants and so on.
While sometimes it can be tough to avoid those places where it is just too loud, there are things you can do to help protect your hearing. Ideally, consider proper ear protection. While traditional ear plugs can offer some protection, they also can muffle all sound which can make hearing a challenge. Custom earpieces can offer solutions to minimize the dangerous sound levels while still allowing you to hear conversations and some ambient noise.
If you have questions at all about the noise level in places that you frequent or have further questions about types of hearing protection, call our office or schedule an appointment to talk with one of our audiologists. We'd love to help you protect your hearing.