Protect Your Hearing Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month is recognized every October. This is a good way to remind you, and your loved ones, that hearing care is very important.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as the third most prevalent chronic health problem that one out of four American adults suffer from.
NIHL may occur after a single exposure to a short and powerful sound (an “impulse” sound), and from being continuously exposed to blaring noises for an extended amount of time.
The volume of a certain sound can be determined through its decibel level (dB). Any dB that reaches 85 and more may cause NIHL. When exposed to a louder sound, it will take a shorter amount of time to develop NIHL.
Any setting that you frequent each day can be responsible for NIHL. Be mindful of the decibel levels that you are in on a regular basis. You may not realize that these places are exposing you to potential hearing loss.
Here are some ordinary environments where NIHL may occur:
The CDC has stated that occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. Approximately one out of five American workers have experienced hazardous noise on the job. Those who work in the construction or public transportation industries are vulnerable to loud noises. Musicians who play classical music for a long period of time can be in danger of exposure to high decibel levels.
The best ways to protect your hearing health is with industrial grade ear plugs or ear muffs. It’s also important to reduce the amount of loud noise you encounter when you are not at work.
Consumer Reports and Zagat have studied surveys and found that excessive noise is one of the primary criticisms from patrons. Noise levels ranged between 80 dB to 90 dB.
There is a great way to determine whether a restaurant, or any place, is too loud: If you need to yell in order for the person right in front of you to hear, it’s a good indication that there is too much noise exposure.
If you want to find a good venue for a date night, but are worried about being able to hear your partner in the restaurant, you can use SoundPrint. This app allows you to choose quieter places in your area from lists that are available in the app. The lists are created by others who also want to protect their hearing health. If you do not see a quiet place that you frequent, you can add it to the list!
Cities can expose you to sounds ranging between 60 dB to 110 dB. The main source of these city noises come from ambulance and police sirens. A five-year study started in New York City, the largest city in the U.S., to oversee sounds in Manhattan. This study is going to help pinpoint unhealthy noise levels.
When researchers discover more information about noise-induced hearing loss, they will be able to work with the city’s employees and planners to construct a safer hearing environment for city-dwellers and workers. There are cutting edge creations currently being used, such as “longitudinal cuts” into paved roads. This new type of concrete is helping to reduce road noise for drivers and homeowners in the surrounding area.
Your Own Backyard
Lawn maintenance and home improvement projects use various types of loud machinery. Leaf blowers are known to produce 100 dB of noise. NIHL can be easily prevented.
It’s important to wear protection for your ears, and reducing your amount of noise exposure when taking care of your home.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced hearing loss due to NIHL, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.
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