October is known as the month that brings us colorful leaves, pumpkin-flavored everything and everyone’s favorite holiday: Halloween. However, October is also National Protect Your Hearing Month! In honor of entering this new season, we at Audicus are rounding up some of the best tips and tricks on how to protect your hearing.
There are several causes of hearing loss that affect 40 million Americans and one of them is noise exposure, which causes Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The good news is that hearing loss caused by noise exposure is also completely preventable. The American Hearing Research Foundation notes that 85 decibels is the threshold for safe noise. This can be scary news when considering the decibel level for the following everyday occurrences:
90 dB: Hair dryer, lawn mower
95 dB: Subway train at 200 feet
100 dB: MP3 Player at full volume
110 dB: Concerts and sporting events
130 dB: Ambulance
Here are some steps than can be taken to prevent NIHL.
Watch out for prescription side effects: Some medications that individuals take can increase the risk of hearing loss due to exposure.
Know what noises are bad for you: To have a better idea of what decibel levels certain noises are, consult a noise level chart. Remember, prolonged exposure to any sound above 85 dB can result in noise-induced hearing loss.
Walk away from the noise source: Simply by lengthening the distance between the noise source and the person can dramatically reduce the decibel level that reaches the ears.
Use hearing protection: There are a variety of ear protection items available out there from small earplugs or earmuffs to more specialized, custom devices for different professions and activities.
Turn down the volume: It is recommended that the television, radio, telephones and mp3 players be heard at about half of its maximum capacity.
If you suspect hearing loss, it is best to schedule a visit to an audiologist.