Hearing loss can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, in the last decade, younger and younger people have been diagnosed with hearing loss. Everyday activities may be impacting the quality of your hearing without you even realizing it. Listening to loud music with earbuds or headsets, going to concerts, blow-drying your hair, mowing the lawn, and loud machinery can cause hearing loss. Acquired hearing loss is any type of hearing loss that occurs after birth and can be caused by illness, injury, or loud noise.
Noise is a major factor in acquired hearing loss. Hearing loss can result from one loud explosion of sound as well as prolonged exposure to high decibels
of noise. Sound is measured in decibels, or dB; anything louder than 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. Check out the chart to the right to give
yourself an idea of some of the noises that you hear on a frequent basis that could be detrimental to your hearing.
All of these things have surprising effects on your hearing. So how can you avoid damage to your hearing? Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and those around you from hearing loss:
Wear hearing protection: Hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs can be purchased at drugstores, hardware stores, and sports stores. These will help to reduce the effects of loud noise.
Don’t listen to loud sounds for too long: If you don’t have hearing protection, try to get away from loud sounds to give your ears a rest. Cover or put your fingers in your ears when emergency vehicles go past.
Don’t be afraid to turn down the sound: Keep your music at half volume,
and don’t be afraid to ask friends or neighbors to turn down the sound as well.
Check out noise ratings: Look at the noise ratings on appliances, sporting equipment, power tools, and blow-dryers before you purchase them. Purchase goods that are quieter—especially for children. If you believe that
you may be suffering from acquired hearing loss, talk with your physician about your options and what you can do to prevent further damage.