Our ears are continuously processing different noises and sounds. Unfortunately, we are not always aware of the damage we are doing to our ears by exposing ourselves to loud and harmful noises. Hearing loss can be the result of extreme exposure to loud noises and can increasingly worsen over time. Everyday noises, music, gunfire, and industrial sounds can all contribute to hearing loss when louder than 85 decibels. Each sound has a decibel level, and each decibel level has a permissible exposure time. When you enter a high-decibel zone and exceed the permissible exposure time, you can temporarily or permanently damage your hearing. In order to protect your ears and prevent hearing loss, it is important to take precautionary measures while you still can.
Here are 4 ways to prevent hearing loss:
- Prevent Hearing Loss from Occupational/Everyday Noise
Whether you’re at work, in your car, or at your house, you are constantly being exposed to various sounds and noises. While you may not think much of the daily buzz around you, it is important to know that every sound takes a toll on your hearing. Some noises will affect your hearing more directly than others. When you are inside the car and sitting in traffic, your ears are exposed to approximately 85 decibels. At this decibel level, you can tolerate the noise around you for about 8 hours. However, if your car window is down and you hear an ambulance passing by, your ears will be exposed to approximately 100 decibels. At this level, you can only tolerate the noise for 15 minutes before your hearing is at risk. Preventing hearing loss in everyday life consists of avoiding loud-noise areas whenever possible.
- Prevent Hearing Loss from Music
Hearing loss due to music is common, but entirely preventable. Musicians, concert-goers, club-goers, and those who enjoy listening to loud music are among the most susceptible to music-related hearing loss. If you are enjoying an evening at a jazz concert, you are exposing yourself to approximately 91 decibels. At this level, you can tolerate the music’s intensity for about 2 hours. However, if you are at a nightclub, you are being exposed to noise levels of 97 decibels. Despite the increase being only 6 decibels more, your ears can only tolerate the noise of a nightclub for 30 minutes. Even more so, a rock concert exerts noise of 115 decibels, which is recommended to be heard for only 30 seconds. Preventing hearing loss from music can be done by using standard earplugs or specialized ear molds that don’t distort the music’s sound.
- Prevent Hearing Loss from Gunfire
Cops, military members, hunters, and even recreational shooters are likely to face hearing loss without proper protection. Hearing is an essential part of successfully performing the duties of a soldier, law enforcement agent, or hunter. Most people who handle guns are required to wear earphones or protective gear to lower the intensity of a fired shot. Most sounds from gunfire exceed 130 decibels, which is considered to be dangerously higher than the recommended decibel level. Over time, exposure to this noise level will result in partial or permanent hearing loss. Preventing hearing loss from gunfire can be done with the use of electronic earplugs. Electronic earplugs have the ability to enhance hearing, such as game movement, and reduce impulse sounds, such as gunfire. Custom molds are available, as well as standard earplug options.
- Precent Hearing Loss from Industrial Noise
Working in construction or industrial fields means you are surrounded with loud and intense sounds all day, every day. Exposure to these loud and extreme noises can lead to permanent hearing loss over time. Bulldozers create sound up to 88 decibels, which can be tolerated for 4 hours. Increasingly, power mowers expose you to 94 decibels, and they can be heard for about 1 hour. Even more so, leaf blowers create an intense 115 decibels—the equivalent to a rock concert—and should be heard for no longer than 30 seconds. In these fields, it is extremely important that earplugs, earmuffs, and related protective gear are staple pieces of your attire. When deciding on what protective gear to wear, you must make sure that the pieces properly fit your ears. Ill fitting ear protection will ultimately be ineffective in preventing hearing loss.
We live in a world that is constantly moving, living, and emitting sound. Those seeking to prevent hearing loss must take the necessary measures in protecting their ears. It is important to take these precautionary measures as early as possible, because hearing loss only worsens over time. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of hearing loss, contact us today to repair or restore your hearing.