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When it comes to hearing health, one thing we don’t talk about enough is protecting our hearing. We all know we need to get hearing devices if we’re not hearing clearly, but have you considered protecting your hearing before you experience hearing loss? Loud noises are doing more damage than you realize, and protecting your hearing could be the key to a happy and healthy future.
Learning About Decibels
Sometimes it’s hard to know how loud is too loud, or when is the right time to protect our hearing. The truth is, most of us don’t protect our hearing nearly as often as we should, and expose our ears to dangerously loud noises on a daily basis. To understand how loud it too loud, we need to learn about decibels. Sounds are measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the number, the louder the sound. Any sounds over 85 dB can damage your hearing, and you should be taking steps to protect your hearing. You can easily download a decibel reader app, so you can test the sound levels around you at any time.
Sounds over 85 dB include things like a loud vacuum cleaner, a leaf blower, a garbage truck, heavy traffic noise, emergency sirens, or a gunshot at close range.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Noise induced hearing loss can be gradual or sudden. If you’re exposed to loud noises every day at work or during leisure events, your hearing will be damaged. And if you stand next to a very loud noise, like a firework show or a gunshot, you could experience sudden and permanent hearing loss.
Noise induced hearing loss is becoming more common, and around 15% of adults have hearing loss. It’s time to start thinking about your hearing health, and do the right thing for your health by protecting your hearing.
Ways to Protect Your Hearing
- Wearing Appropriate Hearing Projection
The first thing we think of when it comes to protecting our hearing is wearing appropriate hearing protection. If you work in a noisy environment, you need to wear hearing protection on the jobsite every day. But if you experience a lot of noise on the commute to work, or the music at the gym is very loud, you could be damaging your hearing in more ways than you realize. If you have to yell to be heard by the person standing next to you, it’s too loud, and you need to protect your hearing. Whether at a concert, a sports event, or out for drinks with friends, don’t risk your hearing, but wear hearing protection.
- Turn the Volume Down
Do you spend hours every day listening to music? Do you play the radio on your way to work, have earbuds in when you’re at your desk, or need pumping music to help you through your workout? Whatever the case may be, spending so much time listening to music with earbuds could be damaging your hearing health more than you realize. When you have the volume on high to block out distracting background sounds, you’re often blasting your ears with sounds of over 100 dB! To protect your hearing, turn the volume down, take breaks, and give your ears a rest.
- Custom Ear Molds
Whether you wear earplugs or earbuds all day, your ears deserve a great fit, and the best in comfort. Consider getting custom ear molds that will fit snuggly in your ear, block background noise, and reduce feedback or wind disturbance. You’ll be able to enjoy wearing ear protection, or listen to music without having to turn up the volume.
- Get Your Hearing Tested
When was the last time you got a hearing test? Most adults haven’t had their hearing tested since they were in school, and if you want to protect your hearing, getting a hearing test is a great place to start. You’ll discover your unique hearing profile, and will have a baseline for future hearing tests. You’ll get a clear picture of your hearing health, and you’ll be able to detect any changes in your hearing during future hearing tests.
Call us today at Hearing Aid Associates to schedule a hearing test, meet our team of Hearing Health Specialists, and discover all your hearing aid options.