Everyday Activities That Could Harm Your Hearing
There are a lot of things that produce noise which can cause damage to your hearing over time. Damage like this is the most common cause of hearing loss in people of all ages and is usually caused by exposure to excessive noise levels. The sound we hear is measured in decibels.
Any sound over 85 decibels have the potential to damage your hearing over time. This exposure can soon add up if you are regularly exposed to loud noise, such as at work.
This is also why employers should provide hearing protection for any worker exposed to loud noise. After a few years in a noisy work environment, you can develop serious hearing problems if you don’t wear proper protection when you work.
The higher the decibel level, the faster hearing damage occurs and the more severe it is. There are many causes of hearing loss from noise exposure at work, but lots of hearing loss happens from high noise levels we are exposed to while taking part in everyday activities.
A lot of the things that many of us love to do can cause permanent damage to our hearing. For example, the noise levels of a nightclub or a concert can easily reach decibel levels of 100dB. Some sports events in stadiums have been recorded at over 130 decibels. Both of these are loud enough to damage your hearing instantly.
Another common cause of hearing damage which can occur very quickly is riding a noisy vehicle like a motorbike. As you reach speeds of up to 70 miles an hour, the decibel level rises very quickly. If you spend a lot of time riding a motorcycle, engine noise and the sound of the wind all pose a risk.
Shooting or hunting
If you’re a lover of the outdoors and like to put food you’ve caught yourself on the table for dinner, then you might enjoy hunting or shooting. However, guns do pose a big risk to the health of your hearing. During gunfire, sound level meter measurements have recorded peak noise levels of more than 160dB.
This is loud enough to instantly damage your hearing. Whenever you are handling a firearm, it is essential to wear proper hearing protection.
Headphones and earbuds
One of the most common causes of hearing damage that is often overlooked is people of all ages using personal listening devices, with headphones or earbuds which send the sound directly into your ears. Using headphones and earbuds is so commonplace that many people regularly put their hearing through dangerous levels of sound exposure, with no idea they’re doing it.
Headphones can send sounds into your ears at levels of over 100dB. Because of endless streaming possibilities of music, podcasts and other audio information, it’s easy to spend a long time listening, which can also contribute to serious hearing loss in just a couple of years. This is a real threat to hearing, especially to that of younger age groups.
To protect your hearing as much as you can, make sure you always listen at a safe level. Try to keep the volume of your listening device below 60% of the maximum potential volume. You should also make sure you take regular listening breaks, to give your ears some time to recover from the sound.
For more information about caring for your hearing, call Quality Hearing & Audiology Center at 816-233-0022. If you have damaged your hearing, an audiologist will be able to advise on the best course of action to manage the damage already done and how to prevent any further damage.
Take protecting your hearing seriously. Keep personal listening devices at a lower volume. If you work around loud noise, make sure that your work provides you with adequate hearing protection and make sure you wear it.
For concerts and sporting events, you can protect your hearing with earplugs designed for musicians. This will reduce the noise levels that you are exposed to, reducing the risk of damage, but won’t muffle the sound, so you’ll still be able to enjoy it. In clubs, avoid standing near the speakers.