28 Jun How to Protect & Preserve Your Hearing
Life can get loud sometimes. From the concert you’ve dreamed of watching to family gatherings and movie-watching, your ears regularly get a workout. Loud noise is a part of life, but too much of it for prolonged periods of time could result in permanent hearing loss.
Loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss and can occur so gradually you might not notice it happening. There are many ways you can reduce the impact that excessive noise will have on your hearing.
Understanding Hearing Loss
The length of time of your exposure to loud noise is just as important as what you are hearing. You may find that living close to a busy freeway and dense city puts you at higher risk for hearing loss than living in a rural area away from noise pollution. People exposed to continuous loud noise over their lifetimes are more likely to develop hearing loss than someone whose only noise exposure comes from the music in their work headphones.
Your hearing professional can help you determine how good your hearing still is with a customized hearing test. Once you know your results, you can begin planning the best course of action for protecting your ears.
Protection Starts With You
The most obvious way to reduce hearing damage caused by loud noises is to, well, avoid loud noises.
Seems deceptively simple, eh? But avoiding noise, especially in a bustling community or busy workplace, can be more challenging than it sounds.
Noise at Home
A great way of cutting down the impact of loud noise is to keep noise levels down inside of your home. Normal conversation registers at about 60 decibels (dB), but anything above 85 dB, especially if you’re exposed to it for an extended period of time, is dangerous for your hearing.
If you have a television or stereo system, make sure that you are only playing it at the volume you actually need to hear, instead of blasting it so loudly that the walls rattle. Apply the same standard to any portable music devices like speakers and media players in your bedroom. Leaf blowers and snowmobiles register between 106-115 dB, so you should wear ear protection even while you are doing regular yard work or enjoying a rip out in the snow.
Noise at Work
It’s not just home you have to consider, either. People working in factories, on construction sites, or in stadiums will constantly be exposed to loud noises for long periods of time. If you work in an office or work with others in noisy environments, make sure you wear hearing protection devices at all times.
Even if the office is not filled with noise, there is a chance that conversations will take place at ear level or above. An easy way to tell if a conversation is too loud or not is if you’re having trouble hearing other people talk, or if your ears are ringing after you step away from the sound for a moment.
Noise at Concerts
Concerts are fun to attend, and usually a great way to support your favourite musician, but without the right ear protection, they can also be very dangerous. The average concert clocks in at between 110-120 dB, which means that after just 30 minutes of attendance, your hearing has likely been damaged. Concerts are designed to project sound to every square inch of the venue, and in plentiful excess, so no matter where you plan on standing, make sure you bring some ear protection with you.
Most hearing protection devices will stop excessive sound from entering the ear canal to ensure the least impact on your hearing. When looking for hearing protection, like earplugs, make sure that they are designed to fit well and don’t cause irritation to your ears, especially if you’ll be wearing them for multiple hours at a time.
Protect Your Hearing: Sharpe Hearing Clinic
It is clear from the above information that we need to understand how we can protect hearing. Noise at work and in our leisure time is a constant worry. Luckily, there are simple and cost-effective solutions that allow us to enjoy our leisure time without the worry of damage to our hearing.
Regular & Custom Earplugs
Earplugs have two functions. First, they prevent excessive noise from entering the ear canal. Second, they prevent dust and other substances, like water, from entering your ear canal. If you are exposed to excessive noise, your hearing professional may recommend earplugs or other protective gear.
Custom earplugs, which can be made to dampen noises across all frequency bands instead of just low and high-frequency ones, may also be of particular interest to musicians who want ear protection, so they don’t have to deal with a constant deluge of loud noise. With custom-designed earplugs, you will get protection that is tailored to fit your own ear.
How we react to noise and how comfortable we are with it is often influenced by our upbringing, and we are unable to avoid it completely. If you understand your own relationship with noise, you can make the best choices as to how to protect yourself from it. Taking steps to protect your hearing is an important part of your health and safety, so don’t wait. Let’s get started today.
If you’d like more information about custom earplugs or hearing aids from Sharpe Hearing Clinic in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 792-9494 or send us a message online.