Maurice Gant, BC-HIS

In the United States, the majority of people with hearing loss didn’t lose their hearing due to a single loud noise incident. Most of them have age-related hearing loss or presbycusis, which is the gradual loss of hearing over many years. It is mostly due to exposure to everyday sound over a lifetime of hearing.  Once your auditory nerve and cilia have been damaged, they cannot be repaired, however you can slow down further hearing loss by taking some precautions.

In order to prevent further hearing loss, it’s imperative to minimize your exposure to further noises that can damage your hearing. It is especially important to refrain from exposing ourselves to noises louder than 85db for extended periods of time. Most people can’t tell how loud sound is just by listening to it, but even moderate city traffic can be in the 85db range. Everyday noises like lawn mowers, hair dryers, sporting events, manufacturing areas and shooting ranges can contribute to hearing loss. The following are additional sounds that could damage your hearing:  firecrackers--130db; loud motorcycles—95db; ambulance siren – 120db; and woodshop—100db.

Try to avoid loud sounds to prevent further hearing loss, however if you can't aviod being loud noises, wear hearing protection. Some of the devises you can use are standard or custom ear plugs, or sound-blocking ear muffs.

You can carry a sound meter in your pocket with free apps for a smartphone like the Decibel Meter app for the iPhone and the Sound Meter app for Android.

Good hearing is so important for quality of life, and if you follow some of the tips above to protect the hearing you already have, you should be able to continue to hear the sounds of everyday life for years to come.

If you have sensorineural hearing loss, nearly all cases can be improved using hearing aids.  Your hearing healthcare provider can determine the degree of loss you may have and the best course of action to take to preserve the degree of hearing that you currently have.

Center for Hearing of Huntsville

7531 Memorial Pkwy South #C

Huntsville, AL