March 3rd is World Hearing Day!

World Hearing DayWorld Hearing Day serves to raise awareness for deafness prevention and hearing loss. This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants to draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention when it comes to hearing loss. Many people live unaware that they have hearing loss. These individuals often fail to realize that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step towards addressing the issue
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No matter how old or young you are, too much exposure to loud noise can permanently damage your hearing. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.

Follow these tips to prevent premature hearing loss:
  • Know how much noise is too much. How loud is too loud? North Western University’s Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning suggested many scenarios where hearing loss can potentially occur. These daily activities done for longer than the indicated time will damage your hearing. 
    • Running a vacuum or handsaw for 4 hours
    • Shouting or running a blender or lawn mower for 2 hours
    • Using an electric drill for 1 hour
    • Riding for 30 minutes on a motorcycle
    • Spending 56 seconds at a rock concert
    • Watching fireworks for 3 seconds
Reduce the volume. Use the 60-60 rule and listen to music at 60 percent of volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.

Hearing ProtectionProtect your hearing in noisy environments. It is important to wear appropriate hearing protection, especially if you work in a noisy industry such as construction or music. Ear muffs, foam ear plugs and custom hearing safety devices are commonly used in these industries.
Similar devices can be worn during more leisurely activities like sporting events and concerts.

Move away from the loud noise. If possible, try to move away from loud noises to limit your exposure. A noise is too loud if you find yourself shouting to speak to someone at arm’s length, if the noise makes your ears ring or causes pain, or if you have decreased hearing for several hours or feel as though sounds are muffled temporarily.

Be sure to have your hearing checked annually. A comprehensive hearing exam can provide baseline reports about where your hearing is and track any changes. If you work in a noisy occupation or are consistently exposed to loud noises, it is especially important to monitor any changes in your hearing to prevent permanent damage.

Many people do not notice damage to their hearing before it is too late. Click here to read more about hearing loss at work. Schedule a comprehensive hearing examination at PEI by calling 215-780-3180.