One of the leading causes of hearing loss is noise damage. This type of hearing loss is due to exposure to loud noises for unsafe periods of time. Workplace safety standards typically agree that it is safe for workers to be exposed to 85 decibels (dB) for 8 hours. 85dB is equivalent to the noise level of busy city traffic. Anything louder than 85dB would mean that the person needs to restrict their exposure time. For example, rock concerts can reach levels as loud as 115dB – being in that environment for more than 30 seconds can lead to a hearing loss!
A common cause of noise damage, especially in the younger population, is listening to loud music. As a general guideline, if you are using earphones and your music is loud enough for the person next to you to hear, then it is too loud. Additionally, if you are experiencing tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in your ears) after listening to your music, it may be a sign that the volume was too loud.
Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable. This can be done by listening to music at safe levels and wearing hearing protection when exposed to loud noise. The most common types of hearing protection are foam earplugs or earmuffs which can easily be purchased at your local department store. There is also custom hearing protection made for the individual to ensure a tight fit to the ears so that dangerous levels of noise can be blocked effectively.
For those who are interested in custom hearing protection options, please reach out to us at Ultima Hearing Centre to discuss your options!