Hearing loss affects 48 million Americans. While some hearing loss is genetic, many cases of both types of hearing loss, conductive or sensorineural, can be prevented.
Noise damage is the prevalent cause for hearing loss that is preventable.
- Worldwide, 1.1 billion young people ages 12-35 are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings.
- About 40 million US adults ages 20 – 69 have noise-induced hearing loss.
- More than 1 in 2 US adults with hearing damage from noise do not have noisy jobs.
- About 1 in 4 U.S. adults who report excellent to good hearing already have hearing damage.
How Noise Damage Can Cause Hearing Loss
- Delicate hair cells in your inner ear vibrate, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound.
- Loud noises overload these vibrating cells, causing damage.
- This damage results in sensorineural hearing loss.
- The cells that vibrate most quickly will be the first to be damaged or die (because they get overloaded more easily), and these cells are the ones that allow us to hear higher-frequency sounds clearly.
Tips for Hearing Loss Prevention
Know the signs for when noise is too loud:
- You have to raise your voice to be understood by someone standing nearby.
- The noise hurts your ears.
- You develop a buzzing or ringing sound in your ears, even temporarily-this indicates some hair cells have died.
- You don’t hear as well as you normally do until several hours after you get away from the noise.
Protect yourself against loud noise.
- Block the noise (wear earplugs or earmuffs).
- Avoid the noise (put hands over ears if you can’t walk away).
- Turn down the volume.
- Limit time in noisy environments.
Seek professional help if you feel you’ve experienced noise damage.
If you feel that your hearing has been affected, call to make an appointment at SoundLogic today. A hearing care professional can conduct a hearing test to determine if you have any hearing loss that should be treated, as well as provide custom ear protection to ensure a proper fit.