Our sense of hearing provides us with a lot of joy. Our ears allow us to enjoy our favorite music, television and movies, as well as conversations with loved ones. Each day I treat people who have damaged their hearing due to exposure to harmful noise levels. I would like to warn you about the dangers of excessive noise, how it can permanently damage hearing, and how to protect yourself.
Why do We Enjoy Loud Music?
Many of the patients who I see for hearing loss have suffered damage because they were exposed to loud music for extended periods of time. This can occur as a result of personal listening devices, live concerts, or other events. Though it is difficult to determine exactly what appeals to us about loud music, it most likely has something to do with the fact that music can give us a momentary escape from life’s complications.
Whatever the reason, audiologists want to help you to protect your ears from all of the threats to your hearing health. When listening to music it is best not to turn the volume to the maximum level. Turning the volume down is one of the simplest things that you can do to protect your hearing.
What Sound Levels are Dangerous?
There is not a defined threshold at which hearing loss occurs. Long term exposure to a decibel level of 85 has been observed to cause permanent hearing damage but the truth is more nuanced. Your ears can actually withstand higher decibel levels than 85 for short periods of time. Knowing the decibel levels that you will likely face during your everyday life can help you to make decisions that protect your hearing.
- Hair dryer- 85 decibels,
- Blender- 90 decibels,
- Motorcycle- 100 decibels,
- Train- 100 decibels,
- Concert- 120+ decibels.
Any one of these normal tools, vehicles, and events can cause hearing damage with long enough exposure.
Everyday Methods to Guard Against Hearing Loss
A small amount of thought to hearing health can go a long way in preserving your health. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are multiple ways to protect hearing health. In order to protect your ears you should monitor how much time you are exposed to noisy appliances and tools. Take frequent breaks and wear ear plugs to further protect your hearing.
Get Your Hearing Checked by an Audiologist
The only way to truly know the state of your hearing is to have it tested by an audiologist. Audiologists will work with you to understand your hearing health and they will be able to determine how severe your hearing loss is, if you have any at all. We can also work with you to come up with a plan to improve your overall hearing health. If you want to know the state of your hearing, contact us to see how my team at Cornerstone Audiology can give you the peace of mind that comes with good hearing health.