An estimated 30 million Americans 12 years and older have hearing loss in both ears. This number increases to 48 million for hearing loss in one ear. Nearly 50% of Americans 60 years and older report hearing loss. Studies show that individuals with hearing loss are more likely to have higher unemployment rates, lower productivity at work, and high healthcare costs.
CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS
Hearing loss can be caused by loud noises. The effect can be immediate or over time. Most often, it occurs through repeated exposure to loud noises. Sound is measured in decibels. The number of decibels is what can cause hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to decibels between 80-100 can cause hearing loss. Examples include: City traffic while inside a car lawnmower motorcycle Exposure to decibels around 110-150 can cause immediate hearing loss. Examples include: listening to personal listening devices on a maximum level loud entertainment venues such as rock concerts and nightclubs Standing beside sirens firecrackers
HOW TO KNOW
Regular check-ups can identify hearing loss early on. Risk factors for hearing loss include genetics, chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, previous injuries to the ear, and chronic exposure to loud noises. Some signs of hearing loss include: Sounds seeming muffled Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds Difficulty understanding phone calls Difficulty distinguishing between s and f, p and t, or sh and th in speech Asking someone to repeat themselves often Turning up the volume on TVs, phones, radios Ringing in ears Hypersensitivity to certain sounds
PROTECT YOUR HEARING
Hearing loss due to loud noises cannot be repaired. Prevention of hearing loss is the primary goal. If hearing loss has already occurred, minimize the damage by preventing further hearing loss.
Hearing loss is usually caused by loud noises over time. The best way to protect your ears is to minimize time with the loud noise. If you have to shout to be heard over the noise, then chances are the noise is too loud.
If you cannot escape the noise, use hearing protection. Keep earplugs or noise-canceling headphones near power tools as a reminder to protect your ears. Earplugs can also be used at public events such as concerts and sports events. Choose a seat furthest from the speakers to help reduce exposure to loud noises.
Take a break from the noises to prevent hearing loss. When listening to music, give your ears a break when you take a break. Turn down the volume of TVs and radios to minimize exposure. When at public events, take a break in a quiet area to give your ears a break. Noise cannot be avoided. Limiting exposure to loud noises can. Protect your ears by minimizing loud noises using ear protection and stepping away from loud noises by taking breaks.
Unsure if you currently have hearing loss? Shifa Healthcare can help. Make an appointment Today