October is National Protect Your Hearing Month! There’s no better time to learn how to protect yourself and those around you from noise-induced hearing loss!
One of the factors in keeping healthy hearing is being aware of the degree and amount of loud sound exposure. Damage can be caused by too much noise, and it is permanent. However, steps can be taken to prevent this damage. The simplest way to protect your hearing if you can’t avoid loud sounds is to wear hearing protection.
The American Academy of Audiology states that lengthy or repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels, can damage hearing. To put that into perspective, noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. A jet plane taking off is estimated to be 150 decibels. Shooting a gun is around 140-175 decibels (depending on the gun). An amplified music concert and an MP3 player with the volume turned all the way up can be as high (or higher) as 120 decibels. Movie action scenes in the theater have been known to reach 100 decibels. Outdoor sounds can pose a risk too. Lawn mowers are around 85 decibels and chain saws can be 115-120 decibels. Compare these with normal talk that is around 60-65 decibels.
The four main ways for protecting your hearing are:
E – earplugs
A – avoid loud sounds
R – reduce the level of sounds
S – shorten time in loud environments
If you are worried about your hearing, make an appointment with an audiologist and get your hearing checked. Changes to hearing tend to happen over time. By the time hearing loss is noticed, it may have been progressing for a while. Hearing improves quality of life – our ears are too important to put off taking care of them. Hearing is one of the most important aspects of our health – it connects us to people, keeps us in the workplace, and when left untreated can be associated with other health issues.
Information was taken from the American Academy of Audiology. You can visit their site for more information or go here: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/protect-your-hearing-month/index.html
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