Why We Need Prevention
According to statistics from the CDC, nearly 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. With so many people affected, we must take measures to curb hearing loss for future generations. But how can we know the culprit of this problem? Luckily, multiple organizations conduct studies every year on noise-induced hearing loss. With comprehensive studies on NIHL, we can look at the data and determine the most likely causes of acoustic trauma in the US. We’ll list the four most common and give you remedies to avoid damaging your ears in the future.
As music streaming becomes more prolific, we have seen a steady increase in the amount of noise-induced hearing loss. High-tech headphones and easy-install home audio systems carry excellent benefits for music lovers. However, the drawback is prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, which can lead to acoustic trauma and permanently damage hearing.
The best course of action is to limit your volume when listening to music. Instead of keeping the sound at maximum volume, consider capping it at around 65 to 80 decibels. This volume will vary from device to device, especially if you’re listening to music on an extensive sound system where the volume is much more substantial. A good rule of thumb is to lower volume to where the audio is still clear and enjoyable, but no louder.
Power tools are another substantial source of noise-induced hearing loss. This source of hearing loss is dangerous because it falls into the category of prolonged exposure. People working in construction or industries with heavy equipment are less likely to experience blast injury; instead, prolonged exposure to heavy equipment noises will damage their hearing.
If you work with heavy equipment, this can be especially dangerous if you do not utilize the proper safety equipment. It can also be easy to remove your earplugs or earmuffs to communicate easily with others. Doing either of these two things will increase your exposure time to loud noises and may lead to NIHL.
The best course of action in these scenarios is to always wear your ear protection, thereby limiting your exposure to damaging noise.
You may be surprised to learn that household appliances can lead to increased exposure. Things like blenders, washing machines, and dishwashers can all be noisy. The best thing to do is limit your exposure time in these scenarios or replace your current appliances with quieter ones.
Finally, transportation is another leading cause of noise-induced hearing loss. Exposure to cars, trucks and heavy vehicles may damage your hearing if you are exposed to them enough. Luckily, most of us can avoid areas with heavy noise pollution and busy streets. If you find yourself in areas with plenty of noise from transportation, consider bringing some earplugs along in your pocket or finding other ways to distance yourself from the noise.
We can’t eliminate noise because it’s a part of our daily lives. Almost everything makes noise, but limiting our exposure to it can profoundly impact our hearing. If you have noise-induced hearing loss and need a team of experts to assist you in finding the proper hearing solutions for you, contact Amdahl Hearing to get started.