Let’s face it. The world is a busy and loud place, with a variety of noise pollution from all angles. However, there are ways to protect your hearing, whether you work in a historically loud industry or enjoy blasting the stereo while you clean the house. The fact is that noise-induced hearing loss is a significant problem affecting millions of people worldwide. To keep your hearing healthy throughout your life, you need to know about the possible risks and use effective ways to protect yourself.
When faced with hearing issues, you also need a reliable and experienced team on your side. At Eldorado Hearing, we offer state-of-the-art assessments, the latest hearing assistive devices, and a personalized hearing health plan that meets your needs. Continue reading to learn about the risks of prolonged noise exposure, how to protect your hearing, and more.
Prolonged Noise Pollution Carries Significant Risks
For such a small part of our bodies, the inner workings of our ears are quite complex and delicate. And over time, high amounts of noise can damage our ears, causing permanent hearing loss. Some of those dangers are detailed further below.
- Permanent Hearing Loss: Permanent hearing loss is the most dangerous thing that can happen in loud places. Exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels (dB) for a long time can damage the parts of your ears that send sound messages to the brain. Over time, this damage adds up and can cause hearing to worsen. The significant part of this is that it happens over time, and if you don’t take precautions now, you might not realize your hearing has been damaged until much later.
- Ringing in the Ears: Tinnitus is when people hear buzzing, ringing, or hissing sounds in their ears. Loud noises can cause tinnitus, lasting for a short or long time. Our team has vast experience working with tinnitus and can offer valuable tools and education to help you manage the condition. However, if ignored, it can significantly impact your quality of life.
- Hyperacusis: People diagnosed with hyperacusis are more sensitive to everyday sounds, even when they are at a normal volume, even finding these sounds uncomfortable or painful. When this happens, they may withdraw completely from social situations, harming their emotional health.
These are just a few issues that can occur with prolonged noise exposure. If you’re concerned about your hearing health, talking with our team is essential. We can assess your needs, provide education, and explore your options.
Protection Is Key
Noise-induced hearing loss might be avoided by being aware of the problem, changing how you act, and using safety gear. Once you know where your hearing health lies, you can also learn the best ways to protect it from future damage. Some tips are listed below.
- Reduce Your Exposure: One of the easiest things you can do is to spend less time in noisy places. If you are at a concert or sporting event, you might want to take breaks in quieter places to let your ears rest. Unfortunately, while this is the easiest thing to do, it’s not always available. This is why taking breaks and wearing protective gear can help.
- Keep Your Distance: As you move away from a sound, it becomes less loud. If you are in a
- noisy place, try to keep a safe distance from the noise. This can lessen the effect on your ears significantly. In other words, you don’t have to be in the front row for your favorite concert.
- Use Hearing Protection: While you may focus on reducing your exposure or keeping your distance, adding hearing protection doubles your efforts. A wide variety of devices are available, including some that we can custom fit to your needs. These include custom earmolds and earplugs that help block out or lessen noise pollution. Consistently wearing these devices can provide your ears with a much-needed break.
Proper Fit Is Essential
Hearing protection works, but for it to work as well as possible, it needs to fit well and be used correctly. Devices that don’t fit or aren’t used right can make security less effective. Our team takes the time to explore what protection works best for you based on several factors, including your lifestyle and your current hearing health. In addition, the things listed below help provide you with the best fit.
- Tight Seal: Hearing protective devices need a good seal to block noise. Sound can get in if they don’t fit tightly, making them less effective.
- Comfort: It goes without saying, but hearing protection is much more likely to be used regularly if it is comfortable to wear. If uncomfortable, you’re more likely to get frustrated and go without, which defeats the purpose.
- Consistency: If you work or hang out in loud places, it’s essential to use hearing protection correctly and consistently. Even a little bit of loud noise every now and then can cause hearing loss over time.
Making the Right Choices For Your Hearing Health
To protect your hearing health and avoid hearing loss, you need to be educated about your situation, not necessarily follow what others are doing. What might be right for your co-worker might not protect you, as you need to be protected. We can provide you with the personalized plan you need and help empower you to make the necessary changes. To make the best hearing choices for you, consider the following things.
- Know Your Environment: The first step is to be aware of how loud things are around you. If you’re unsure how loud the noise is in a certain place, you can test the decibel levels with apps on your phone or portable sound level meters.
- Choose the Right Protection: Different types of hearing protection are best for different scenarios. Choose devices that are right for the amount and length of noise exposure. Foam earplugs you throw away might be enough for short-term exposure, but earmuffs might be better for longer times. Talk to our team about your options to have the most information.
- Check Your Hearing Regularly: Checkups with our team help keep an eye on your hearing health and catch any changes early so that you can get help right away.
- Advocate for Safety: If noise exposure is a problem at work or in public places, talk about noise control and the right way to use hearing protection. Your employer should give you and your team proper training, access to good hearing protection gear, and a safe place to work. If this doesn’t happen, talk with a supervisor about your concerns.
Take The First Step to Healthy Hearing Today
You can greatly reduce the chances of noise-induced hearing loss by knowing the risks, taking precautions, and making decisions based on the information you receive from our team and your own research. Remember that your hearing is a valuable sense that makes your life better. If you take steps to protect it, you’ll be able to enjoy the world of sound for many years to come.
Contact us today to take the first step to healthy hearing.