Whether it’s a loud burst or years of working at a noisy job site, loud noise has the potential to damage your inner ear and cause permanent hearing loss.
In fact, any prolonged exposure to noise at or above 85 dBA can cause permanent hearing loss. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for hearing damage to occur.
Let’s take a look at some common activities that can reach harmful volumes, as well as what you can do to protect your hearing this year.
Common Activities That Can Damage Your Hearing
Plenty of activities reach that volume and above and therefore have the ability to damage your hearing, including:
- Rock concerts or live performances at places like The Lensic Performing Arts Center
- Sporting events
- Shooting or hunting
- Riding motorcycles
- Auto races
- Mowing the lawn or leaf blowing
- Working at a construction site or other noisy environments
- Listening to music too loudly with headphones or earbuds
The good news is you don’t need to avoid these activities to keep your ears safe. You just need to take a few steps to prioritize your hearing health.
Use Hearing Protection
Hearing protection devices like earplugs, earmuffs and custom earmolds can help you enjoy your favorite hobby or focus on your work while reducing the volume to a safe level. The type of protection that works best for you will largely depend on both how much volume reduction you need as well as what feels most comfortable.
Turn Down the Volume on Household Devices
When listening to music at home on your headphones or watching television, make sure the volume isn’t too loud. When it comes to headphones, many smartphones have health apps that can monitor the decibel level you are listening to and let you know if it’s too loud. For television, a good rule of thumb is that it should be loud enough that you don’t have to strain but not too loud that you can hear it in other rooms of the home.
Get Your Hearing Tested
If you notice that your hearing seems muffled or you have a ringing in your ear (tinnitus), make an appointment for a hearing test. If your hearing is normal, it can be helpful to have a baseline to compare with future tests. If you have any hearing loss, your audiologist can help find the right pair of hearing aids or other treatments for you. Additionally, they can provide information on how to reduce or prevent further damage.
For more information on protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.