Elevated noise can cause numerous problems, including hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start taking care of your ears – take action now! There are a number of ways to protect your ears and hearing health from every day noises in the workplace, from mowers or power tools, leisure or environmental noise.
Always use earplugs around loud noises. There are numerous products available for hearing protection. They have a Noise Reduction Rating, which is a unit of measurement to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection they provide from noise within a given environment. The highest NRR rating for ear plugs is 33 NRR and for earmuffs, 31 NRR.
If you have to shout so that the person next to you can hear your voice, because of the loud noise around you, you’re being exposed to dangerous levels of sound. Nearly 15-percent of Americans have noise-induced hearing loss because of loud work or leisure environments. Earplugs are readily available and convenient to carry. Your local hearing healthcare provider can custom fit a pair of earplugs as well.
Turn the volume of your music and headphones or earbuds down. According to the World Health Organization, 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss from unsafe use of audio devices. Experts suggest listening though headphones at no more than 60-percent of the volume for no more than 60-minutes per day. Over-the-ear headphones are a better option than earbuds, since earbuds fit directly next to the eardrum.
Your ears need time to recover after you have been exposed to loud noises, such as concerts, for a prolonged period of time. Your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet time to recover from one loud night out.
For extreme noise, like that around a construction site, from close proximity to fireworks or practicing on a shooting range, earmuffs might be the better option for ear protection.
Make sure to get regular hearing screenings. Because hearing loss develops gradually over time, it’s recommended that you have annual hearing consultations with a hearing professional. Taking action is important, because untreated hearing loss has been linked to other health concerns like depression, dementia and heart disease.
Center for Hearing of Huntsville
7531 Memorial Parkway South #C