8 Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), daily loud noises in common places could be damaging your hearing. Listening to noise levels above 75 decibels regularly can cause hearing loss over time—but what situations cross that threshold? As part of Better Speech and Hearing Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders, AHSA has compiled a range of decibel noises that you could experience regularly.

Lengthy exposure causes higher risks of permanent damage, so it is recommended that you take 10 hours rest in between sessions of loud noise. However, if you’re in noisy conditions often and for sustained amounts of time, here are 8 TIPS to protect your hearing in those environments.

  1. Wear hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs. Foam earplugs are the most popular device used, and when properly inserted, will block out dangerous frequencies. Custom earplugs can also be made, taking an impression in the ear and then grafting a silicon earpiece to fit the mold. Silicon won’t enlarge or compress, and filters can be ordered to customize what sound frequencies can enter the transmitter.
  2. Move away from noise sources such as speakers. It might not be the very best seat in the house, but your ears will thank you one day when you find seats away from the blaring speakers and loud instruments.
  3. Research the noise level ahead of time via online review sites. People are increasingly using review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to share their experiences at restaurants, tourist attractions, and event venues. Look around on the Internet to see if others have had notable problems with loud noises during their visit.
  4. Visit noisy establishments at off-peak times. Your favorite spots can still be enjoyable when there isn’t a large crowd. Beat the rush and grab an early dinner with friends to still have fun experiences while protecting your hearing.
  5. Download a smartphone app that monitors noise level. With modern technology, there’s an app for just about everything. Noise-monitoring apps like Decibel X, NIOSH Sound Level Meter, and Sound Meter offer various ways to flag when you enter noisy situations.
  6. Take periodic listening breaks. Give your ears a rest the next time you’re at a loud concert, sporting event or restaurant to reduce the overall duration of noise exposure. Sustaining loud noises for long periods of time can quickly increase the risk of hearing loss.
  7. Ask managers to reduce the noise in too-loud restaurants, health clubs, etc. If you’re trying to enjoy time with friends or family, ask management to turn down the volume of the TVs in the restaurant or the music playing on the speakers in the gym.
  8. Leave immediately if you feel pain or ringing in your ears. There’s no reason you should have to endure through discomfort and risk deteriorating your hearing in uncomfortable situations. Leave your surroundings to give your ears a break and to protect your hearing for the future.

If you have concerns about your hearing or pain you’re experiencing in your ears, call Birmingham Speech and Hearing Associates at (205) 871-3878 for a free consultation today.

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4 Office Park Circle, Suite 301
Birmingham, AL 35223
(205) 871-3878