You’re probably already aware that concerts and sporting events are among the sounds that can damage your hearing. However, are you aware that motorcycles or even viewing an action movie in a theater can also be responsible for hearing loss?
There is quite a long list of noise exposure that can cause hearing damage, especially without the use of hearing protection. We’re going to take a look at the types of sounds that can cause hearing loss, their noise levels, and how often you must be exposed to them for possible damage to occur. Keep reading for more information!
Measuring a Sound’s Safety
Sound is measured in decibels (dB) – the higher number of decibels, the louder and more dangerous the sound can be to your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss or hearing damage can occur after being exposed to loud noises or high decibels because they can cause harm to the structures of the middle ear.
While you may believe that only high sound levels or prolonged exposure can damage your hearing, this is completely untrue. Scientists believe that along with the actual loudness of noises, sound vibrations may also damage hearing.
To give you an idea, whispering is typically around 30 dB, while motorcycles may be louder than 95 dB. Sounds that are above 120 dB can cause immediate damage to your hearing but prolonged exposure to noises over 85 decibels may also cause hearing loss.
All of this means that listening to loud noises for any length of time can have the potential of causing permanent hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Damage Resulting From Noise Exposure
After attending a concert, watching a fireworks display, or attending a sporting event, you may notice that your ears feel full or that there’s pressure in them. You might hear ringing when you finally reach a quiet place or other noises and conversations may sound muffled.
All three of these issues can be indicative of exposure to sounds that can damage your hearing. Usually, these symptoms go away after a few minutes, hours, or days. Unfortunately, their disappearance doesn’t mean that your hearing hasn’t been damaged.
Your hearing may return to normal (or what feels to be normal) after a little while, but the damage to the cells in your ears may have already been done. If you continue to be exposed to loud noises, your hearing will likely be permanently damaged.
Most often, the first noticeable sign of permanent hearing loss or damage is the inability to hear high-pitched noises. When this begins to happen, you will need to take extra care to not further damage your hearing by avoiding loud noises or using hearing protection.
Unexpected Sounds That Can Damage Your Hearing
As mentioned, prolonged exposure to noises over 85 dB can be harmful to your hearing. Believe it or not, babies can cry anywhere from 99 dB to 112 dB; vacuum cleaners can produce anywhere from 70-80 dB of sound, and most hair dryers range from 85-100 dB.
In addition to these noises, if your favorite exercise class isn’t yoga or you happen to run your garbage disposal while doing the dishes, you may be placing yourself at risk for hearing damage.
Lawnmowers, noisy restaurants, subways, and food processors are also all potential culprits of hearing damage, especially if you happen to be around these noises frequently or for long periods of time.
Factors That May Worsen Hearing Loss
High decibels and the length of exposure time are related and have a huge role in hearing loss from high sound levels, but they aren’t the only factors. Your age, distance from the noise, and its pitch can all contribute to the severity of hearing damage.
The closer you are to the noise, and the higher the pitch is can all worsen the potential for hearing damage. Additionally, genetics can play a role in how susceptible you are to this issue. Of course, the longer you’re exposed to loud noises, the more likely it is you will experience hearing loss.
All ages are susceptible to hearing damage caused by loud noises. However, babies and young children are thought to be particularly vulnerable to this problem because they are less likely to be able to identify sounds that are too loud. They also may not be able to communicate signs that certain noises are affecting their hearing.
Correcting Hearing Loss From Sound Exposure
Extended exposure to sounds that can damage your hearing can result in permanent impairment. There is no true cure for hearing damage caused by noise exposure, but you can work to avoid these types of sounds.
You might choose to turn the music or TV down, walk away from loud areas, or wear earplugs or muffs to protect your hearing. If damage has already occurred, you may choose to take corrective measures to work toward a full range of hearing.
If you’re interested in taking steps to correct damaged hearing from loud noises, contact Hearing.io for a consultation. We can provide you with a comfortable, affordable, and customizable hearing aid that will help you hear better and restore your quality of life. An annual hearing test should be part of your healthcare routine. You visit your primary care physician, your dentist and your eye doctor for regular check ups, why are your ears any different? Here are some effects of hearing loss!
Hearing loss is gradual.
Hearing loss usually happens slowly over the course of many years. This makes it hard to detect when you aren’t hearing like you used too. Family and friends often notice first. But most hearing loss sufferers will deny they have a problem for 7 to 10 years before they decide to address it. Here are some causes of hearing loss.
Early detection is key.
If you get an annual hearing test you will be able to address your hearing loss early. Nothing good comes from waiting 7 to 10 years to treat hearing loss. The longer you wait the more sounds your brain will ‘forget.’ Leaving you with a more difficult adjustment period when you do finally get hearing aids.
Even if you don’t feel your hearing has changed, it is a good idea to have an annual hearing test when you reach age 55. This is when many people start to experience age related hearing loss. If you get a baseline test at 55 you will have something to compare with each year, incase your hearing does start to decline.
Hearing loss impacts your happiness.
When it becomes difficult to hear, most people begin to withdraw from social situations. This leaves hearing loss sufferers feeling isolated and often leads to depression. Communication is key to many personal relationships. When you have difficulty understanding loved ones, they can easily become frustrated and refrain from sharing with you.
If you already wear hearing aids, it’s still important to get an annual hearing test. Your hearing will change over time. A hearing test will help your hearing specialist adjust your aids to any changes. Then you will know you are always hearing your best.
In short, it’s important to get an annual hearing test to maintain your health and quality of life.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions! We would love to help you hear your best!