The two most common causes of hearing loss are exposure to noise and aging. While beauty products and supplements may advertise that they can help you look younger, nothing can be done to slow down the march of time. We put together some tips and tricks you can follow to help you keep your ears safe and prevent hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise.
Understand Your Sound Environment
The world is a loud place, and you are exposed to noise on a daily basis. Sounds are measured in decibels (dB) and anything over 85 dB can cause hearing loss. To help avoid exposure to loud sounds, you first have to understand which ones pose a risk. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) put together this list of the average decibel ratings for some familiar sounds.
- Normal conversation: 60-70 dB.
- Movie theater: 74-104 dB.
- Motorcycle: 80-110 dB.
- Live sporting event: 94-110 dB.
- Sirens: 110-129 dB.
- Fireworks show: 140-160 dB.
While it is easy to tell that listening to your favorite band at American Airlines Center may be exposing your ears to loud noises, some environments are harder to determine. This is where sound meters come in handy. There are a number of free smartphone apps, including one called Sound Meter put out by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This app allows you to measure how loud your environment is.
Wear Hearing Protection
Knowing which sounds can cause damage is only half the battle; once you know, you then have to do something about it. The easiest way to protect your hearing from dangerously loud sounds is by wearing earplugs.
Available at your local pharmacy, disposable earplugs are inexpensive and easy to use. The most common disposable earplugs are made out of foam and only last a few uses before they need to be replaced.
Higher quality disposable earplugs made out of rubber or plastic are also available.
Created from a mold of your ear, these styles of earplugs provide a higher level of protection and better fit than their disposable counterparts. These earplugs are made of durable materials and are designed for those who are often in dangerously loud environments. Custom-made earplugs are available from your audiologist. To learn more about how to keep your ears safe or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Total Hearing Care of Dallas today.