The rate of noise-induced hearing loss is growing all around the world. Not only are there classic sources of noise pollution, such as loud work environments and noisy bars, but there are also new threats, such as personal listening devices. As a result, your ears are exposed to a wide array of potential dangers every single day.
Given the prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss, more people are curious about the condition. Here are four of the most frequently asked questions.
How Does Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Occur?
As the name implies, noise-induced hearing loss occurs when your ears are exposed to harmful levels of sound. According to hearing specialists, any nose greater than 85 decibels has the capacity to damage your hearing. For example, construction and lawn equipment, such as tractors and lawnmowers, are all capable of emitting dangerous levels of noise. Similarly, personal listening devices have been known to output music at over 120 decibels, and exposure to these kinds of levels can damage your hearing in less than 30 minutes.
How Can It Be Prevented?
The most effective way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is to limit your exposure to loud noises. When it comes to personal listening devices, try not to use earbuds or headphones for more than an hour a day, at roughly half of the device's volume. Additionally, if you work in noisy environments, such as construction or manufacturing, make sure that you wear ear protection at all times. Or if you're a fan of live music, try to find a space in the room that's not right up next to the stage or speakers.
When Should You Get Your Hearing Tested?
One of the earliest signs of hearing problems is tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Alternatively, some people simply notice that they're having a hard time hearing conversations, especially in noisy environments like restaurants and bars. Also, you may notice that you may need to turn the television up louder to follow what's happening onscreen. If you've noticed any of these symptoms, then it may be time to get your hearing tested.
What Are the Treatment Options?
If your hearing has degenerated to a significant degree, then treatment may be necessary. In most cases, people rely on hearing assistive devices like hearing aids in order to gain back some of their lost hearing ability. In more serious cases, however, a cochlear implant may be necessary. Additionally, if you are suffering from noise-induced hearing loss, then it is time to take a more proactive approach to limiting your sound exposure.
Thanks in part to the rise of technology, the world today is a constant auditory assault. But by taking steps to avoid dangerous levels of noise, you can help to retain your natural hearing ability well into old age.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!