The World Health Organization (WHO), said that 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults, ages 12 to 35, are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to damaging levels of sound at various noisy entertainment venues and the unsafe use of personal audio devices such as iPods, car and home radio systems. Along with this, repeated exposure to loud noise, over an extended period of time, also presents serious risks to hearing health.
Here’s a quick hearing tip: If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone who is within arm’s length, the noise is in the dangerous range.
Here are the warning signs of dangerous noise levels:
- Pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area
- Ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise
- You have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise
Summer is in full swing and is full of fun, but is also full of noise. In the summer, there’s several outdoor and indoor concerts, fireworks shows, noisy parties, and other various events that present high levels of dangerous noise.
The Hearing Consultants would like to encourage people of all ages to pack up your earplugs along with that sunscreen and to follow these 5 tips for protecting your hearing this summer.
1) Plug your ears and walk away.
If a loud noise takes you by surprise, quickly plug your ears with your fingers and quickly walk away. Increasing the distance between you and the source of the sound will help reduce the intensity (or decibels) at which the sound is reaching your ears.
2) Use earplugs.
When you know you’ll be around loud sounds, use earplugs. Disposable earplugs, made of foam or silicone, are often available at local pharmacies. They’re practical because you can still hear music and conversation when they’re in your ears. But when they fit snuggly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.
3) Limit your time in noisy environments.
Do all you can to limit the length of time you spend in a noisy environment. When you do participate in noisy activities, alternate them with periods of quiet. And remember to use ear protection.
4) Turn it down.
When listening to smartphones and other electronics, keep them at a low volume. Importantly, limit your use of headphones and ear buds. Remember, it’s not just the volume that matters. It’s also the duration of time spent listening.
5) Get a Hearing Test.
Visit a local hearing healthcare professional like the Hearing Consultants for custom-fitted ear protection and a hearing test. A hearing healthcare professional can provide a hearing test to determine your baseline hearing level and determine if you have any hearing loss that should be addressed. Hearing care professionals also can provide custom ear protection to ensure a proper fit.