Noise Induced Hearing Loss & Custom Hearing Protection
Exposure to Loud Noise is a Common Cause of Hearing Loss
A study conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, found 58 million Americans are exposed to loud noises regularly. This means that one in five of us living in the U.S. is at risk of damaging regularly.
Researchers have noted workplace and recreational settings as the two most common areas where exposure to potentially harmful sounds occurs. That is no surprise: noise-induced hearing loss is often mentioned as the most common workplace injury.
Occupational Hearing Loss
This study offered a deeper understanding of how we experience noise at, as data found that 22 percent of those surveyed were subject to 'very loud' noises at work for more than four hours per day, several days a week. Thirty-eight percent of those people didn't have access to hearing protection.
These results have led researchers to focus on the importance of hearing protection – and raise awareness of the lack thereof in workplaces across the country.
Damaging Noise from Recreational Gun Use
Turning to noise from recreational sources, one common loud noise that many may not notice is the noise from gun use. Of the nearly 35 million Americans who own guns, only 58% of owners currently use hearing protection when shooting their weapons, and 20% of those who fired 10,000 rounds of ammunition last year did not use any hearing protection. The vast majority of such noise exposure (77 percent) occurred on a recreational basis.
Gunfire is well within the range of loud noise that, without sufficient protection, can result in hearing loss from a one-time exposure of one minute or longer. In reality, any noise at or above 120 decibels may cause permanent ear damage.
Damaging Noise from Loud Music
Noise exposure at rock concerts and personal audio devices such as smartphones is increasingly being identified as a common cause of permanent hearing loss.
According to the World Health Organization, about 1.1 billion young adults and teenagers experience hearing loss due to the inappropriate use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and attendance at loud entertainment sites such as night clubs, bars, and sporting events.
How to Protect Your Hearing
At Ascent Audiology & Hearing, we recommend using custom ear protection if you are routinely exposed to high sound levels on the job or in your recreational activities. Custom earplugs are designed to suit your ear shape and size exactly, shielding them from harmful sound levels while allowing you to hear the sounds you want to hear.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Foam or silicone earplugs are available over the counter and are definitely better than using no hearing protection at all. If you are frequently exposed to loud noise, consider investing in hearing protection. Custom ear protection lasts several years when properly cared for, and protects your hearing from long-term noise damage.
Contact us at Ascent Audiology & Hearing today to learn about our custom hearing protection products.