Once your hearing is damaged, it usually cannot be restored. While your hearing can become damaged by factors outside of your control, such as drugs, disease or injury, noise damage is preventable. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your hearing from noise.
The first step to protecting your hearing is to know which noises can cause damage. Any sound over 85 decibels (dB) can be damaging. An easy way to gauge if a sound is over the threshold is to compare it to other sounds you know the measurement of. For instance, a vacuum cleaner is 70 dB, an alarm clock is 80 dB, a lawn mower is 90 dB and the sound of a jackhammer is 130 dB.
A common culprit for noise damage is listening to music on a personal music player. Often times, individuals will try to drown out background noise by turning the music up louder. If you cannot hear external sounds or the person next to you can hear the music from your headphones, the music is too loud. The 60:60 rule can help you listen to music safely. Listen to the music at 60% of the maximum volume for only 60 minutes a day. Using noise canceling headphones or large over-the-ear style headphones helps block other noises so you can listen to music at a lower volume.
An easy way to prevent hearing loss is to avoid loud environments. That being said, sometimes you cannot help ending up in such an environment. If you are experiencing loud noises at work, talk to your human resource (HR) representative or manager. They should be able to help you reduce the noise or provide you with hearing protection. Earplugs or earmuffs should be worm if you are using noisy equipment, such as a power drill or lawn mower.
In an ideal world, we would be able to protect ourselves from every loud noise; unfortunately, this is not the case. Getting a regular hearing checkup is the next best thing. This enables you to keep on top of your hearing loss. You can then take the next step towards getting a hearing device or making some simple lifestyle changes to protect your hearing.
If you have any questions about how to protect your hearing or would like to take the first step by getting your hearing checked, contact Central Florida Hearing Services at (863) 386-9111.