Your hearing is an important sense that allows you to communicate with those closest to you. Unfortunately, many fail to realize the importance of protecting your hearing when you’re young, leading to irreversible hearing loss later in life. Below we provide an overview of how common hearing loss caused by noise damage is, how loud sounds cause damage and how to preserve your hearing health.
How Common Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
According to the CDC, hearing worsens over time due to long-term exposure to loud sounds. In addition, while noise-induced hearing loss is often associated with people who work in fields such as construction, law enforcement or military, studies show that:
- Approximately 53% of people ages 20 to 69 who have noise-induced hearing loss have no exposure from their jobs.
- Approximately 24% of people ages 20 to 69 who believe they have excellent hearing actually have measurable hearing loss.
- Only 46% of adults who report trouble hearing have seen a health care provider for these concerns within the past five years.
How Do Loud Sounds Cause Damage?
Within the inner ear are tiny hair cells called stereocilia, which are responsible for converting soundwaves into electrical energy that the brain interprets as sound. As loud sounds pass through the ear, these cells can become damaged or destroyed. Once destroyed, they cannot regenerate, and permanent sensorineural hearing loss is the result.
Any sound over 85 dB can cause damage to the stereocilia if you’re exposed long enough. For reference, below is a list of common sounds and their decibel outputs:
- 70 dB – Washing machine, usually safe
- 80 dB – Traffic noise from inside a car, usually safe
- 90 dB – Leaf blower, can cause damage within two hours
- 100 dB – Sporting event, can cause damage within 15 minutes
- 110 dB – Rock concert, can cause damage within two minutes
- 120 dB – Emergency siren, can cause damage within one minute
Protecting Your Hearing
Once your hearing is gone, you can’t get it back, which is why we recommend the following:
- Wearing earplugs while operating power tools or shooting firearms
- Investing in musician’s plugs for attending concerts and shows at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.
- Listening to music at no more than 60% of your device’s volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Hearing Center of Lake Charles today.