Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

National Protect Your Hearing Month

Some may not realize this (or may just need a friendly reminder), but loud sounds are incredibly harmful to your ears. In fact, noise-induced hearing loss is a common condition, and it is an ailment that can affect anyone, of all ages. Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when a loud noise damages the tiny hair cells in your cochlea, leaving it unable to send information about that sound to the brain. Unfortunately, once damaged, these hair cells do not grow back, leaving you with permanent hearing loss. Luckily, you can easily avoid noise-induced hearing loss with the correct know-how and taking preventative steps.

Since October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, there is no better time to learn what steps to take to avoid damaging your ears. If you want to preserve your ability to hear, check out what simple lifestyle changes you can make to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss.

      • Lower the volume on your devices can go a long way in protecting your hearing. This goes for televisions, smartphones, computers, and tablets. Aim to keep the volume level down below 70 decibels, since sounds at or above 85 decibels can put you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

      • Wearing ear protection such as earplugs or earmuffs can help protect your sensitive ears from exposure to loud noise. Ear protection is a necessity if you know you will be exposed to loud noises that you cannot escape from, such as at work, a sporting event, or at a concert. Nowadays, there are even protection options available that can filter out damaging sounds, while still leaving your ability to hear intact.

      • Move away from the source of the noise. If you are at a fireworks show or a concert, make sure you are not stationed right by a speaker or parked in front of a firework show. Instead, keep a good amount of distance away from the source of the sound. By increasing the distance between you and the source, you can significantly reduce the sound intensity.

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