Most people understand that hearing loss in Dallas can be caused by aging, noise and disease. Did you also know it can be caused by lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners and blenders? This just goes to show you that hearing dangers lurk around every corner…even those within your very own home.
Decibels & Dysons: Noisy Household Appliances
Hearing loss is prevalent in Dallas and throughout Texas. It affects 48 million people of all ages, making it one of the most common physical health conditions in the U.S. Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common cause in the U.S. It’s also the only type of hearing impairment that can actually be prevented.
What’s a safe hearing level?
Some of the most common noise sources are pretty obvious. If you’re attending a concert or sporting event, riding a motorcycle or speedboat, shooting guns at a firing range or tearing up the sidewalk in front of your house with a jackhammer, you are exposing yourself to noise levels well in excess of 85 decibels—the threshold for safe hearing. Hopefully, you are wearing hearing protection when taking part in these activities.
How loud are common household appliances?
Other hazardous noise sources may surprise you. Many are common appliances found in the home; you probably use many of them on a daily basis without giving your hearing a second thought. Few people are going to bother wearing earplugs when vacuuming the living room!
While it’s unlikely you’ll experience hearing damage from a few minutes’ worth of cleaning, the cumulative effects of noise can eventually cause harm to your hearing. Here’s a list of common appliances and their average decibel levels:
- Vacuum Cleaner: 60-85 dB
- Hair Dryer: 60-95 dB
- Blender: 80-90 dB
- Washing Machine/Dryer: 50-75 dB
- TV: 70 dB
- Doorbell/Telephone: 80 dB
- Garbage Disposal: 70-95 dB
Looking for more precise information on your specific appliances? Many manufacturers list decibel level ratings for their products in the owner’s manual or on their website.
How to Prevent Household Hearing Damage
Hearing loss is irreversible; once damage to your hearing occurs, you can’t fix it. But you can take steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place! To protect your hearing in Dallas, follow these safe listening practices:
- Turn down the volume! This is obvious but should still be mentioned. Keeping the sound low when watching television or listening to music will help keep your hearing sharp.
- When shopping for household appliances, research decibel level ratings and choose models that are quieter.
- Headphones are a sound investment (pun intended) if you have noisy hobbies. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones will help you focus on your work and protect your hearing.
When was the last time you had your hearing tested?
Additionally, you should have your hearing checked on a regular basis by a Dallas audiologist. Hearing loss usually develops gradually, and many people are unaware they are experiencing a problem. A routine hearing checkup will help catch an impairment early, increasing your odds of successful treatment.