Hearing loss is typically caused by aging, disease, genetics, or injury and may not be preventable. Some kinds of hearing losses, however, are preventable. Keep reading for information about hearing loss and how a hearing test can help to prevent hearing loss.
To prevent hearing loss, individuals can schedule a hearing test. Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused in two ways. A single intense sound, like an explosion or gunshot, may cause noise-induced hearing loss. Routine exposure to sounds at an unsafe volume can also cause hearing loss. An example of this exposure is attending overly loud musical events or working on a construction site without earplugs.
The closeness of the loud sounds, the length of exposure to the sounds, and the intensity of the sounds affect hearing loss. Sounds above 85 decibels will cause hearing loss, and the louder the sound, the less time it takes to damage hearing. The distance from a sound also affects how much damage will occur.
Being proactive helps to maintain hearing health. People have routine eye exams, dental exams, and physical exams. They should also have regular hearing exams. Tests that indicate there is already some hearing loss allows people to take action to keep the loss from getting worse. If hearing aids are necessary, a hearing professional can discuss options and recommendations.
People need to be careful about the level of noise around them. Simply turning the volume down or walking away from loud noises can help. Avoid noisy activities and places. Using earplugs or protective headphones can also help minimize hearing loss.
At home, turn down the TV, radio, or music. When listening to loud music, take frequent listening breaks to reduce exposure. Look for quieter products in the areas of power tools, toys, and recreational vehicles. Consider reducing equipment noise by replacing loose or loud parts with new ones. Keep machines properly maintained. Earmuffs and earplugs should be kept in convenient places, such as the car and workshop, for easy access.
Individuals looking to reduce hearing loss should move away from the loudest speakers when in auditoriums and stadiums. They should also limit the time they are exposed to loud sounds. Be mindful of signs and flyers warning of possible loud sounds, and be prepared with hearing protection. Keep hearing protection devices like earplugs or earphones in the car or your pockets for easy access when out and about.
There are different types of earplugs. Pre-molded earplugs are pliable devices but have fixed proportions. Formable earplugs are crafted from expandable foam that forms to the ear. Custom-molded earplugs fit to the size and shape of a user’s ear canal. Anal caps are earplugs on a plastic or metal band that can hang around the neck when they are not used.
Individuals can use a sound level meter to measure noise and sound around them. Anyone can own and use one of these, not just healthcare professionals. There are even free sound level meter apps for smartphones. They usually display noise levels in decibels and can show people the risk of hearing loss.
There are a variety of things that people can do to prevent early hearing loss. Consider scheduling a hearing test today to reduce the likelihood of further damage.