Over the next few weeks, here at Andros Audiology and Andros ENT & Sleep Center, we are focusing our conversation on noise induced hearing loss. Our patient often ask:
What is noise induced hearing loss?
Noise induced hearing loss is hearing loss that is permanent in nature. Long-term exposure to loud sounds over a prolonged period of time can cause noise induced hearing loss. Sounds louder than 85 decibels can be damaging to your hearing. The louder the sound, the less amount of time it takes before damage occurs. For more information regarding how loud is too loud, check out this article by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
So, in the very noisy world we live and work in, what can we do about dangerously loud noises? The good news is that noise induced hearing loss is preventable. Wearing hearing protection helps to decrease the intensity of noise and ultimately protect your hearing.
Types of hearing protection
There are two different types of hearing protection available. Earplugs protect hearing by creating an airtight seal in the ear canal. This type of protection can be purchased very inexpensively at drug stores or sporting goods stores. You can purchase them in bulk through amazon. Custom-fit earplugs can also be a good option. You will need to see an audiologist for custom hearing protection.
The second type of hearing protection is the over-the-ear style. This style fits over the entire ear and must create a tight seal with adjustable headbands in order to provide sufficient protection. This type of hearing protection can also be purchased fairly inexpensively at sporting goods stores or through amazon. Some earmuffs even allow normal sounds, like conversation, though but block out loud, dangerous sounds. These can be very useful and can be purchased at sporting good stores like Cabela’s.
The important part of both types of hearing protection is how much, when appropriately fit, the earplug or muff reduces noise. The better the noise reduction, the more protected you are from harmful noises.
For more information, schedule a hearing evaluation at Andros Audiology at 651-888-7888.