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Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent health problems that people in the United States face. Hearing loss affects one out of every three persons over the age of 65, and it affects half of all adults over the age of 75. It’s time to start considering what you can do now and in the future to protect your hearing.
Did you know that some familiar sounds, such as heavy traffic, garbage trucks, or riding a motorcycle, might cause hearing impairment after roughly an hour? Being at a rock concert for more than a few minutes may permanently damage your hearing.
Let’s find out more about the everyday noises that might cause hearing loss.
Noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the most common causes of hearing loss in adults. This is a type of hearing loss induced by loud sounds. Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by anything from jackhammers to gunshots to an evening at the bar, and it will follow you for the rest of your life. If you are exposed to a single noise that is loud enough, NIHL can occur in as little as one second; As you’re exposed to loud sounds day after day, it’s surprisingly easy to be affected.
Here are some of the most common everyday noises you need to watch out for.
Who doesn’t enjoy going to a baseball game at the local stadium? Sports arenas, unfortunately, are notoriously noisy, putting your hearing at risk. The hours you spend cheering for your sports team are causing more damage than you realize, from loud music to screaming fans and even fireworks. At times, being in a stadium packed with screaming people can be as loud as a jet plane engine.
Hearing loss is often a problem in concert halls. The ringing in your ears as you go back to your car, with sound levels through the roof, is a clear clue that it’s way too loud. You may have temporary hearing loss or tinnitus, but that isn’t the end of the story. Temporary hearing loss can be a symptom of something far worse, such as irreversible damage to the fragile cells of your inner ear. It only takes 15 minutes at a rock concert to lose some of your hearing permanently.
If you believe loud sounds exclusively cause that hearing loss, you are mistaken. Your hearing is also harmed by urban life. With honking on the daily commute, screeching subway brakes, the loud construction site you have to drive past every day, and the music playing in your favorite cafe, these endless sounds wear out your hearing daily, never allowing your fears to rest, and eventually leading to permanent hearing loss.
The use of earbuds with smartphones
Have you considered your daily listening habits? Every time you wear earphones in your ears, whether on the bus to work, at the gym, or while walking the dog, you are endangering your hearing. When the sounds around you become too loud, it’s easy to go for the volume control and turn it up even higher. The issue is that earbuds can blast overly loud noises right into your sensitive eardrum. If you listen to music at a loud volume, you’ll lose your hearing in a matter of minutes! Listen at a volume of no more than 60% to protect your hearing, and take breaks to give your ears a rest.
Hearing loss signs – don’t ignore them!
In their 40s or 50s, most adults begin to notice warning signs of hearing loss. Maybe you don’t hear as well as you used to, from increased sensitivity to sounds to difficulty hearing your buddies at the bar or missing the phone ringing. Many people make the mistake of ignoring these warning signs for years. Americans wait an average of five to seven years to seek treatment for their hearing loss!
Do you believe your hearing loss isn’t harming your life or that it isn’t as terrible as it appears? Every day you wait to get treatment, your hearing deteriorates further and is irreversibly lost. Hearing loss affects all aspects of your life, including your ability to play with your grandchildren, spend quality time with your spouse, converse on the phone with your children, and enjoy going to the dog park with your dog.
Don’t let any more opportunities to spend time with your loved ones pass you by. If you suffer hearing loss, contact us for a hearing evaluation and to find the best hearing aid for you.