Noise-induced hearing loss affects 15% of Americans between 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 noisy environments.
Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. While there are many apparent places where the volume of sound can get too loud, many places we go in our everyday lives have noise levels that can damage our hearing.
Noises over 85 decibels tend to cause damage, and we experience sounds of that magnitude daily. 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 challenging to avoid places that are just too loud, you can do things to help protect your hearing. Ideally, consider proper ear protection. While traditional ear plugs can offer some protection, they also can muffle all sounds, making hearing challenging. Custom earpieces can provide solutions to minimize dangerous sound levels while still allowing you to hear conversations and some ambient noise.
If you have questions 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.