Turn it ALL Down – Not Just the Music

Many times the general population associates hearing aids with the elderly, and it’s true that age does cause most of us to lose a certain amount of our hearing, but statistics are showing that hearing loss is starting younger than ever before. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, one in five people between the age of 48 and 59 experience a hearing deficit and another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that a record one in five teenagers is suffering from hearing loss as well!  Why? Likely because as a whole, our environment is getting louder – from our Bluetooths and iPods, to the concerts and sporting events we attend, to the equipment on our jobs.

Not interested in investing in hearing aids at a young age?  There is something you can do – turn it all down!  Learn, first of all, how loud is too loud. Doctors agree that damaging noise starts at around 85 decibels. To give you an idea of that volume, a crying baby is about 90 decibels. As the volume increases, the amount of time that your ears can safely endure that noise diminishes quickly. Consider these facts:

  • A power lawn mower, at 105 decibels, can begin destroying your hearing ability after just 2.8 minutes.
  • A concert or sporting event at 110 is dangerous after only 45 seconds.
  • A car stereo at full volume (140 decibels) begins killing your hearing after…. ZERO SECONDS.

So, whenever possible, simply turn down the volume. Of course, there are some sounds you just can’t control, so consider these alternatives.

Take a break. After a music-blasting Spin class, find a quiet place for as long as possible. If you work in noisy environs, go someplace quiet for a few minutes every couple of hours. These quiet times allow the inflammation to dissipate at least a little.

Pick the right earphones. Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at Boston’s Children’s Hospital recommends sound-isolating earphones These block the right proportion of high and low frequencies so you can get the most out of your music at a lower volume.

Use ear plugs. Consider the volume of the place you are going – will you be subjected to noise the level of a blow dryer for more than 90 minutes? Take along some earplugs.

Your hearing ability is something that is fragile – and once it’s destroyed, it can’t be fixed. Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is largely preventable, so take charge of protecting your hearing today.

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