Do you always use earphones?
Are loud music parties and concerts your idea of regular hang out?
Are you exposed to heavy and loud noises like workshops, industries, railway stations, airports, clinics, etc.?
If any of your answers is yes, chances are you might be prone to a Noise-Induced Hearing Loss without even realizing it. We often don’t realize that we might be exposing ourselves to a considerable amount of potentially damaging noise daily, which may hamper our hearing ability, gradually leading to hearing loss for life.
Hearing is one of our core senses that allows us to communicate and understand sound and speech, so it becomes necessary to protect your hearing ability. Interestingly, unlike other hearing loss types, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is entirely preventable if we are consciously take precautions.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss can be caused by an exposure to some intense “impulse” sound for one-time, such as an explosion, or by exposure to loud sounds continuously, such as noise generated in house construction nearby, a motor garage, airports, rail stations, automobile factories, etc. in your vicinity. Some recreational activities can also put you at risk for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, such as target shooting and hunting, listening to music at high volume through earphones/ headphones, snowmobile riding, attending frequent (loud) concerts, and playing in a band.
At or below 70 decibels, the sound level is unlikely to cause any hearing loss even after prolonged exposure to the noise. However, if you face prolonged exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels, it can cause hearing loss. The louder the noise, the faster you get affected by Noise-induced Hearing Loss.
Prevention is the ket towards better hearing. The best way to ensure this is by being aware of the harmful noises in your surroundings. The main aim is to help understand the consequences and think up practical solutions to protect your hearing.
- Consider using earplugs while in a noisy place for longer durations. Earplugs do not stop the noise entirely, but it can reduce the sound that reaches the ear.
- Noise-canceling devices are also a great option to limit the noise output to provide a comfortable and safe listening experience without hurting.
- Suppose you are continuously exposed to loud music. Consider some custom-made hearing protection too or custom musician plugs.
- Restrict your daily use of audio devices. An excellent set to live by is called the 60:60 rule. It involves listening to audio devices at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
- Use smartphone apps to monitor safe listening levels for your kid. One such latest app is Apple’s Noise App. It acts proactively and enables the user to monitor their listening environments and take steps to protect the hearing, such as wearing earplugs when alerted to dangerous sound levels, rather than merely ignoring, hoping that they won’t affect.
- Go for hearing evaluation at regular intervals by an audiologist or other qualified hearing professionals if there is any concern about the potential hearing loss.
While the root cause of Noise-induced hearing loss may seem simple, it is essential to prevent it whenever possible. If you feel like you or a loved one might be having a hearing problem, visit us at Hearing institute of Ontario at the earliest convenience to get the extra support you require.