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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month!

Noise exposure causes permanent hearing loss, and it is 100% preventable!

Hearing loss from noise exposure can occur at any age. Over 36 million Americans experience hearing loss… an amount over four times larger than the entire population of New York City! Over 18 million of those Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 65.

Today’s modern world is full of everyday objects that emit hazardous levels of noise. Exposure to noise louder than 85 dB is considered loud enough to potentially damage hearing. Consider your exposure to these common sounds that exceed 85 dB:

  • 90 dB: Hair dryer, lawn mower
  • 100 dB: MP3 Player at full volume
  • 110 dB: Concerts and sporting events
  • 130 dB: Ambulance

Your hearing can be permanently damaged after exposure from a single event of loud noise. Signs of damage from noise exposure include ringing in the ears, a plugged or “cotton feeling” in the ears and feeling as if others are mumbling while speaking. The use of some medications may make some individuals more susceptible to noise induced hearing loss.

You can prevent damage from noise by limiting your exposure to loud sounds. The following actions can reduce the likelihood of developing hearing loss from noise:

What is this ringing noise in my ears?

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound or noise in the ear or head.  Tinnitus is commonly reported as a ringing or bell noise, but it has also been described as clicking, roaring, hissing, static and “motor” noises. Tinnitus has unique variations, and reports from those afflicted with tinnitus vary greatly in terms of the sound and volume. Most people experience tinnitus in both ears, though it may occasionally be perceived in one ear only.

Some tinnitus coping strategies include:

Advocate for your listening needs!

Assertive listening strategies for those with hearing loss to share with others to facilitate communication.

Hearing loss is “invisible,” and those around you may not realize that you are missing part or all of a conversation. Acknowledging your hearing loss and educating others about your listening needs will facilitate successful communication. Many are unaware of strategies that can improve communication. Education and gentle reminders to use strategies are helpful to improve communication.

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