of Americans live with some degree of hearing loss
Approximately 36 million Americans live with some degree of hearing loss. The causes of hearing loss range from aging to birth defects of the ear. However, one cause stands out as the most common reason people have hearing problems: loud noises. One in three cases of hearing loss is due to damaging noise exposure.
To some degree, this is actually good news. You can proactively reduce your risk of hearing loss by limiting your exposure to loud noises. Here are five steps you can take for hearing loss prevention.
The modern world is full of noises in excess of 85 decibels – the level at which noise begins to damage the ears. While it’s impossible to avoid all exposure to loud noise, the more excessive noise you can avoid, the more you protect your ears. So how do you know whether a noise crosses that 85-decibel threshold?
Generally speaking, noise is loud enough to damage your hearing if any of the following apply:
OSHA protects employees from workplace-related injuries, including occupational noise exposure. OSHA standards require employers to protect their employees from noise-induced hearing damage by:
Be sure to use any ear protection provided by your employer and follow all relevant ear protection procedures. If you’re exposed to loud noise and do not feel your ears are adequately protected, reach out to your HR department with your concerns.
Headphones and earphones allow you to block out surrounding noise and listen to your music, which has made many commutes much more bearable. Listening to music through headphones at high volume, however, is a common cause of hearing loss, so be sure to keep your music volume at comfortable levels. Consider taking the following steps:
Nightclubs, concerts, school dances, and music festivals all have one thing in common: they can produce ear-damaging noise. If you're attending a loud event, be sure to take the following steps:
Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Just like you rely on your favorite mechanic to keep your car engine running smoothly, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with a highly-rated licensed hearing care professional is key to keeping your hearing aids in optimal working condition.
It's time to finally treat your hearing loss. Sign up for a free consultation with a licensed hearing care professional today to determine if you have hearing loss. It’s the start of your journey towards better hearing.