Noise is a part of life. We make ourselves vulnerable to environmental sounds on a daily basis and frequently do not give it a second thought. It is in the home, the classroom, and the workplace. It is essential to consider this noise and develop a means to lessen or prevent exposure to it. Once our hearing is gone, we can never get it back.
Making Sense Of Noise
Noise is such a part of our lives in fact that a recent study is attempting to monitor all the racket in New York City. The idea is to create an aural map that will assist the researchers in monitoring and controlling noise pollution throughout the city. Although it is unclear just how the information obtained will be utilized, the study is bringing awareness to the problem of noise pollution in our environment.
The Warning Signs Of Hearing Loss
Has all of this noise affected your hearing? Hair cells that reside in your inner ear are damaged when exposed to loud noises repetitively. The result of this exposure could be a sensorineural hearing loss or tinnitus. If you work in a factory, construction, or transportation, you are at a high-risk level for hearing loss. Musicians, entertainers, and those who work in emergency services are also at an increased risk. There are warning signs that indicate exposure to hazardous noise levels including:
- Your ears ring following exposure to loud noise.
- A sense of fullness in your ears after exposure to noise is indicative of hearing damage.
- There is a chance that you hear people talking but find that you have difficulty understanding what they are saying.
How To Protect Your Hearing
There are steps that you can take to lessen your exposure to environmental noises and protect your hearing health. Here are a few:
- Earplugs – Earplugs are the simplest and most convenient way to protect your hearing health. A wide variety of earplugs are available, and they can even be custom fit for your ears by a hearing healthcare professional.
- Give your ears a break – Exposure to loud noise such as that found at a nightclub or a concert can take a toll. Make a point to step outside and rest your ears for five minutes.
- Turn down the volume – Consider using over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds. Follow the 60/60 rule which suggests using your headphones no more than 60 minutes at a time at 60% volume.
- Discuss it with your supervisor – Is your work environment noisy? Speak with your employer concerning hearing safeguards that meet required federal and state regulations.
- A hearing test – Consult a hearing healthcare professional in your area and get your hearing tested today.
Our world that we live in is full of sound. Frankly, it can be a challenge to find a quiet spot these days. However, researchers are working hard to understand the noise and take steps to control it. You can protect your hearing. Know the warning signs of hearing loss and take measures to protect your hearing health. Schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare professional for a hearing exam, and your ears will thank you for it.