Although you may not notice it, the world is filled with different sounds that can cause considerable damage to your hearing. Anything from everyday household appliances to power tools in construction sites has an impact on your hearing capacity. Exposure to these kinds of noise doesn’t just cause temporary hearing loss; it can also impair your hearing permanently.
The Qualities of Loud Noise
Like any organ, your inner ear’s components gradually face wear and tear over the sound waves they process daily. Think of it as an appliance that gets used routinely; the more careless you are in using and maintaining them, the higher chances they can break completely. This is why it’s necessary to protect your ear from harmful levels of noise.
In terms of measurements, harmful noise must be 85 decibels (dB) and above to damage your hearing. Longer exposure to these auditory variables can lead to an increased risk of hearing deficiency.
Loud noise comes in various forms, and some can be surprising to most people. Some obvious examples are vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers, which effectively reach the 85-100dB range. However, other unlikely appliances and devices can also reach this range. Food processors, hairdryers, and even everyday power tools reach the 85dB mark. This is a fact supporting that people are always in constant exposure to harmful noise.
The Dangers of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
It’s more common for people to connect Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) with a one-time encounter, like a gunshot or explosion. The high volume of these instances cause immediate damage to the fragile structures in a person’s inner ear, leading to temporary or permanent hearing loss. However, NIHL can also occur through gradual exposure to harmful sound levels over time.
Being surrounded by car horns, construction noise, and other sources can lead to gradual degradation of your inner ear’s parts. Moreover, hearing loss through NIHL can affect anyone, regardless of their age. This is why it’s necessary to gauge your safety against these environmental threats and know the proper way to address them.
The Importance of Getting Protection Against Noise
Noise that reaches 85dB and above won’t automatically make someone deaf. If the noise registers 120dB, even a few seconds of the noise can lead to permanent hearing loss. People can withstand 85dB of noise with proper hearing protection for over eight hours. However, people should only have protected exposure for noise with 90 dB for four hours.
People regularly exposed to high decibels of noise are recommended to wear hearing protectors, especially for people in the construction and manufacturing industry. While people free from these noisy environments are less at risk of NIHL, they should still pay attention to their hearing in different scenarios.
It’s vital to notice the sounds that you receive daily. You can then make necessary adjustments to these sounds habitually. Lowering your music’s volume or wearing earphones around busy streets are some simple ways to protect your sense of hearing.
Assessing your hearing is difficult to do by yourself. Unlike your sense of taste or smell, it’s ill advised to perform self-tests to see if you have compromised hearing. Keep in mind that you can further endanger yourself by testing yourself and seeking DIY remedies. For this reason, it’s vital to get a professional hearing test to determine your current condition.
If you need to visit a hearing consultant in Massachusetts, our professionals can meet you. At Hear More Associates, we give our customers an informed recommendation on the right treatment for their hearing needs. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (781) 863-8282.