Exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss, next to aging. While many jobs and hobbies can increase your risk of hearing loss, using the right hearing protection can help you prevent damage.
How Noise Can Damage Your Hearing
Repeated exposure to any noise above 85 decibels (dB) has the ability to cause hearing loss. It does this by damaging the hair cells in the inner ear. Once these cells are harmed, they cannot be repaired. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for damage to occur.
Many common activities, like going to concerts at The Oil Palace, can expose you to volumes over 100 dB, putting you at risk for ear issues like tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and hearing loss. While sometimes these effects can be temporary, they can also lead to permanent hearing damage as well.
When Should I Wear Hearing Protection?
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), hearing protectors are recommended for these settings and activities:
- Auto races, sporting events, fireworks displays, and concerts
- Motorcycle, dirt bike, and snowmobile riding, and when operating an all-terrain vehicle or tractor
- Band or orchestra rehearsals and performances
- Industrial, warehouse, farm, landscape, and other loud (or potentially loud) workplace settings
- Shooting sports
Choosing Your Hearing Protection Device
There are several options to choose from when it comes to hearing protection, including a variety of different earplugs. Choices include:
- Disposable foam earplugs
- Filtered earplugs
- High-fidelity earplugs
- Custom earplugs
- Electric earplugs
Additionally, earmuffs and banded hearing protectors are options as well.
All offer different levels of protection, quality of hearing, and come at different costs. To help figure out what hearing protection might be right for you, consider the following:
- How much of a noise reduction do you need to keep your ears safe while still being able to hear what is around you?
- What kind of sound quality do you need?
- Do you need hearing protection consistently for hours on end, or are you only exposed to noise sporadically?
- Will you need to take off your protection from time to time to get instructions for work or communicate with others?
- Do you have other equipment that you wear, like helmets or goggles, that could interfere with hearing protection devices?
- What feels most comfortable on or in your ear?
For more questions about hearing protection or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call SoundLogic today.