It’s crucial to be aware of potentially dangerous listening environments now, so you can protect your hearing later.
What’s Too Loud?
Sounds over 85dB damage hair cells – receptors that send auditory signals to your brain – which is permanent. How do you know when the sounds are too loud?
Here are a few rules of thumb:
- If you must shout to be heard over your environment
- If a sound causes pain in your ears
- If your hearing is muffled after you move away from a noise
There are also apps you can download on your smart device to track the decibel level of your environment.
How To Protect Your Hearing
Whether you drive to a bustling office job with the radio cranked or work in a construction site, there are easy ways to protect your hearing.
- Turn down the volume. It’s easy to get carried away with your favorite songs. But you risk long-term damage, especially when you use earbuds/headphones.
- Give your ears a break. If you’re in a loud environment, like a concert, step outside frequently to reduce your exposure.
- Use earplugs. Protect your ears by blocking out harmful noise levels with one-use, silicone, or custom earplugs.
- Don’t use cotton swabs. Cleaning your ears with cotton swab may tear/rupture your eardrum.
- Keep ears clean and dry. Visit an audiologist for safe earwax removal. Excess wax and fluid can trap bacteria, causing infection and damage.
Successfully protecting your hearing means knowing the danger your daily activities pose to your hearing. Familiar sounds that can affect your hearing include:
- Alarm clock: 80dB
- Rock concert: 110dB
- Emergency siren: 115dB
- Thunder: 120dB
- Fireworks: 15dB
Get A Hearing Test
Set a baseline for your hearing with a hearing evaluation. Getting an evaluation now will rule out hearing damage and indicate any deviations in the future.
If you have hearing loss, a hearing test will help put you on the right track toward a treatment plan. You’ll also protect your hearing from further damage.