What You Need to Know About Noise Induced Hearing Loss
|What do IPods, bulldozers, music concerts, thunder and gunfire all have in common? They are all forms of NIHL—Noise-induced Hearing Loss. Approximately 30 million Americans are affected by hearing loss. Nearly 10 million hearing loss cases are linked to noise-induced hearing loss. NIHL can be caused by one time exposure to loud sound or repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over extended periods of time.
Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). Sounds that reach 85 dB or more are capable of causing, permanent damage to your hearing. Additionally, the amount of time you are exposed to the sound affects how much damage it will cause.
The quieter the sound, the longer you can listen to it safely. However, exposure to some common sounds can cause permanent damage, like the ones below:
• Normal conversation occurs at 60 dB - not loud enough to cause damage.
• An idling bulldozer (idling, not actively bulldozing) is loud enough at 85 dB to cause permanent damage after only one eight hour work day.
• Listening to music with earphones at a standard level 5 volume generates sound levels of 100 dB--enough to cause permanent damage after only 15 minutes per day!
• The nearby clap of thunder (120 dB) or gunshot (140-190 dB depending on weapon), are both capable of causing hearing loss damage immediately.
Noise is one of the most common occupational hazards facing people today. But even outside of work, many people are active in recreational activities (such as musical concerts, use of power tools, hunting, etc.) that produce potentially harmful noise related hearing loss.
The important thing to remember is that NIHL is preventable! By simply turning down the volume, or wearing earplugs and other protective hearing gear, you can preserve the integrity of your hearing for many years to come.
If you’re worried that you might be experiencing symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss, please contact the Hearing Improvement Center today. We’ll conduct a free hearing test and help you find the best solutions for your hearing healthcare needs.
Source* Dangerous Decibels