Hearing loss can be the result of a variety of causes, but noise induced hearing loss, the result of environment and lifestyle, is preventable!
Loss of hearing as a result of overexposure to environmental sounds can be permanent, and the National Institute of Health estimates that about 15% of Americans suffer from this type of loss. Exposure to repetitive loud noises either at work or during leisure activities can cause high frequency hearing loss, as well as a brief but very loud noise such as a gunshot at close range.
Signs of high frequency hearing loss:
- Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus
- Difficulty understanding conversations, especially in noisy situations
- Temporary hearing loss after exposure to a loud sound or music concert that seems to “go away”, but actually may leave residual loss
- Raising the volume on the TV or radio
Noise induced hearing loss if typically gradual and many people will not realize its effects until hearing has been dramatically reduced and there is a need for a hearing aid to restore normal function.
Tips for preventing noise induced hearing loss:
- Wear ear plugs or ear muffs at work or during leisure activities where there is damaging noise exposure
- Keep volume levels low when using earpieces or headphones to talk on the phone or listen to entertainment
- Avoid venues where noise is loud or above recommended decibel levels of 85: concerts, large sporting events, hunting.
- Be aware of possible noise related dangers and sounds that go above 85 decibels: sirens, fireworks, motorcycles, full volume music
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing high frequency hearing loss or know you may be at risk due to your job or lifestyle, schedule an audiology appointment with Annapolis Hearing Aid Associates. diagnosing this type of hearing loss early can avoid further, often permanent damage to the inner ear.