October is National Protect Your Hearing Month! This is the perfect time to find out more about your hearing, what causes hearing loss, and how you can protect your hearing. Join us in discovering more about noise-induced hearing loss and take some time to appreciate your hearing.
How Does Noise Affect Our Hearing?
Our ears are always on. They work tirelessly to hear every sound around us, from the softest whisper to the loudest crash. But how do these sounds affect our hearing?
Deep inside the inner ear, delicate cells called cilia sense every sound in your environment. They can pick up even extremely soft sounds. However, loud sounds can damage these fragile cells. And once the cells are damaged there’s nothing you can go do to repair the cells. You’ll experience noise-induced hearing loss.
You’ll start to miss soft sounds or sounds that are high-pitched. Following conversations can become difficult since you just can’t hear all the sounds in each word. It will become even harder to hear whenever there’s background noise since it will be more difficult to pick out important sounds and ignore background sounds.
What Sounds Can Cause Hearing Loss?
Our cities are loud and exciting places. You’re constantly surrounded by noise, from city traffic to the neighbor’s lawnmower, to the construction site around the corner. Even some of your favorite leisure activities or hobbies might be very loud.
But all these loud sounds can cause hearing loss. In fact, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that nearly one in four adults has some signs of noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss and be gradual. Long-term exposure to moderately loud noise can lead to hearing loss over time. On the other hand, this type of hearing loss can also be very sudden. Exposure to one extremely loud sound can cause hearing loss in just a few moments.
Here are just some of the sounds that can damage our hearing:
- Listening to music with the volume on high
- Working on a noisy job site with loud machinery
- Commuting to work in heavy traffic
- Mowing the lawn or using the leaf blower
- Watching an action movie in a movie theater
- Attending a concert or sports event
- Driving a motorcycle
- Firing a gun
- Watching a fireworks show
Preventing Hearing Loss
The good news is that this type of hearing loss is preventable! By taking a few steps to protect your hearing, you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Here’s how.
- Walk away from loud noise. If you’re in a place that’s too loud, leave. For example, you can pick a quieter restaurant, or avoid the construction site by taking a different route to work.
- Wear hearing protection. It’s often not possible to leave the noise. If you work in a noisy profession, prioritize hearing protection! Make sure you always wear hearing protection whenever you’re exposed to noise. You can also wear hearing protection during noisy concerts, when doing noisy hobbies, or any time the noises around you get too loud.
- Turn down the volume. Have you been listening to music with earbuds or headphones? If you have the volume on high, you’re hurting your ears! Turn down the volume to below 60% to protect your hearing.
Treating Hearing Loss
Do you think you may have noise-induced hearing loss? Visit us for a hearing test and find out more about your ears. You don’t have to settle with less than optimal hearing! We’ll help you find the perfect devices that will help you hear whenever you need a boost.
Treating hearing loss can help you listen safely. You won’t need to turn up the volume to hear, since your hearing aids will amplify sounds. You’ll be able to follow conversations, catch every important word, and hear every sound you’re straining to hear.
Hearing aids also help you hear in places with background noise. Speech enhancement programs help you focus on the sounds you want to hear. At the same time, a background noise reduction program can reduce the volume of distracting sounds. Some of our most popular hearing aids even offer better hearing in noise than normal hearing! Book a hearing test and find out more about protecting your hearing and treating hearing loss.