Noise induced hearing loss (NHIL) can happen to anyone at any age. Each day we are exposed to different sounds at various levels of volume. Things like televisions, traffic, construction, music, etc. Usually none of these sounds are at a level that would cause damage. However, sounds can cause damage if they are at too loud of a level even if its for a short time. As well as loud sounds for prolonged periods of time. NHIL can happen slowly over time or be immediate in cases of intense impulse sounds. It can effect one ear or both.
Causes of NHIL
Different activities can cause NHIL. Things like target shooting and hunting, motorcycle riding, playing in bands, listening to music at high volume through ear buds, and loud concerts. Also things like lawn equipment and factory machinery.
Sound is measured in units called decibels. Sounds at 75 decibels or less, even when exposed to for long periods of time, have been found unlikely to cause NHIL. On the other hand, repeated or prolonged exposure to sounds over 85 decibels will cause a hearing loss. The louder the sound the quicker it will happen.
The NIDCD has provided a helpful list of familiar sounds and their decibel ratings.
- The humming of a refrigerator
- Normal conversation
- Noise from heavy city traffic
- An MP3 player at maximum volume
- Firecrackers and firearms
With just these few listings we can see that what might not truly seem that loud has the potential to cause permanent hearing loss. The good thing about knowing all this is that it can be prevented. Whenever your in an environment that has these high decibel levels use hearing protection. This simple step can help preserve your hearing and prevent NIHL.
Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ wants your hearing to stay as pristine as possible, for as long as possible. That why we offer FREE comprehensive hearing screenings that are preformed by our Board Certified Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist. Call us today at 772-286-4327 and schedule yours.