Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Are You at Risk for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Anyone can develop noise-induced hearing loss, but some people are more at risk for it than others. Noise-induced hearing loss is a condition that occurs after repeated exposure to loud sounds or experiencing them for long periods of time. When noises are too loud, they can damage the sensitive structures and bones within the ears, resulting in hearing loss and other related conditions, such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Explore some of the risk factors below to learn more.
1. Your Job
If your job requires you to spend a lot of time around loud noises, you are more likely to experience some form of hearing loss now or in the future. The careers with the greatest risk include:
- Manufacturing plants with loud machinery
- Jobs that use a lot of power tools, such as construction, carpentry and mining
- Nightclubs, bars and concert halls
- Musicians, especially rock musicians
- Military, especially soldiers exposed to gunfire, explosions and aircraft and ship engines
- Agriculture jobs that require loud equipment, such as tractors and combines
If you do work in one of these fields, you can reduce your risk for noise-related hearing loss by wearing hearing protection. Some employers may require you to wear ear plugs or earmuffs, but if not, it’s a good idea to wear them anyway. Look for high-grade hearing protection that’s comfortable and easy to wear so you can continue working safely.
2. Your Music Habits
Everyone loves to jam out to loud music every now and then. But, the louder it is, the more damaging it can be to your ears. If you’re someone who attends a lot of rock concerts and is always up in the front row, or if you constantly have headphones in your ears, then you may be more at risk for hearing loss. Just look at a few famous musicians. Many rock musicians, including Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne, Pete Townshend and more, suffer from hearing loss and/or tinnitus due to decades of exposure to loud music. The thing is that most cases of noise-related hearing loss are gradual. So right now, you may not notice anything different about your hearing. However, it can catch up to you years down the line.
To help protect your hearing, turn down the volume, distance yourself from speakers and wear ear plugs when necessary.
3. Your Hobbies
Any noise 85 dBA or louder can potentially damage your ears. Motorcycles, snowmobiles, chain saws, lawnmowers and fireworks all fall into that category. Your hearing health might be the last thing on your mind while you’re mowing the grass or celebrating the 4th of July, but it’s important to consider it and practice safe listening. You should never give up an activity you love or need to do, but you should wear ear plugs or earmuffs while you do it to help keep your ears as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.
Schedule a Hearing Evaluation
Noise-induced hearing loss affects millions of people of all ages. Some damage is only temporary, while others are permanent. If you suspect you might have hearing loss of any kind, schedule a hearing evaluation. We can talk to you about your options, whether that’s getting a pair of ear plugs or a hearing aid device, to help improve your hearing today.