October is Audiology Awareness Month - What you need to know about hearing loss to protect your hearing
September 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM
The American Academy of Audiology is dedicated to increasing public awareness of audiology and the importance of hearing protection. With October right around the corner, what better time than now to provide a little peak into how exactly our ears work. Check out this video, posted by Schooltube:
As you can see, our ability to hear relies heavily on a very precisely functioning fine-tuned system. But that fine-tuned system is also very delicate, and susceptible to damage. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the US, and more than half of Americans with hearing loss are under the age of 65.
Exposure to excessively loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss regardless of age. And recent studies have demonstrated that the incidence of hearing loss from noise exposure has more than doubled among children and young adults in the past thirty years alone.
So what could be causing such a significant increase in hearing loss among our youth? Many researchers point to increased use of personal listening devices at dangerously high volumes. Prolonged exposure to any noise at 85 decibels (that of busy city traffic from inside a vehicle) or greater has the potential to cause permanent noise-induced hearing loss. Some mp3 players have a maximum volume capacity as great as 115 decibels, which is nearly as loud as a jet engine on take off. Check out the Youtube video below that illustrates how excessive noise, such as mp3 players at high volume levels, can cause hearing loss:
While hearing damage that noise exposure causes is cumulative and permanent, the good news is that it is also totally preventable. So protect your hearing! Keep the volume turned down, especially on personal listening devices. Distance yourself from noise sources whenever possible. And wear hearing protection when exposed to loud noises, especially if you’ll be exposed for more than a few minutes.
Contact an audiologist for more information on hearing, noise-induced hearing loss, and ways you can protect your hearing. Check out the links below for more information from several different resources: