Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: getting to know the basics

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What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is a hearing disorder caused by repeated exposure to sounds that are unsafely loud.

 

How Common Is It?

More common than you might think. About 1 in 5 teenagers have some form of hearing loss. Even more troubling, 10 million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage and everyday 30-50 million Americans are exposed to unsafe sound levels on a daily basis.


What Can I Do to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and sound (sorry, we’re suckers for a good pun).

  • Stay away from loud, prolonged noises whenever possible
  • If you’re going to be at a place with dangerously loud sounds, such as a concert or sporting event, protect your ears by wearing earplugs
  • When listening to music on your headphones, be sure to wear noise-limiting headphones (luckily, we know a pretty awesome company that makes the best noise-limiting headphones out there)
  • Have your hearing tested regularly (check out our free online hearing test)

How Loud Is Too Loud?

The common consensus in the medical field is that any noise above 85 decibels could cause noise-induced hearing loss. Many common sounds you encounter on a daily basis cross this threshold, so stay vigilant!


How Do I Know if I have Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

We’ll let our friends at Better Hearing tackle this one:

  • You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears
  • You can’t hear someone talking to you only a few feet away
  • You have a feeling of “fullness” in your ears after leaving a noisy area

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately!

Anything Else I Should Know?

You only get two ears, keep them safe!