October is national Protect Your Hearing month, and we at Midwest Hearing Aid Systems want to help you make the safest choices for your hearing. According to the CDC, there are 10 million people under the age of 70 who suffer from hearing loss. Many people associate hearing loss with aging, however, there are many environmental causes that can have an even greater impact. Things like working in a loud environment, loud concerts and even listening to music and or TV too loudly for too long can be detrimental to your hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100% preventable! See below for steps to protect your hearing.
- Turn down the volume. More than 5 million children – or 13 percent – are estimated to suffer from NIHL, which experts agree could have been easily prevented if they took actions such as turning down the volume on their personal music players – or “turning the volume dial to the left.” For more information, head to TurnIttotheLeft.org.
- Always wear ear protection when you are in a loud environment such as a construction zone, concerts or around firearms. At Midwest hearing, we offer a range of hearing protection to suit your individual needs. Custom earplugs are great for reducing all noises in the environment and can reduce the sound in the environment by up to 30 decibels. If you are a musician or avid concert-goer, you may want to talk to your audiologist about musician’s ear plugs. These have a special filter which reduces all pitches evenly to make music sound more natural while reducing the volume to a safer level. If hunting is your weekend activity of choice, you may want to consider SoundGear from Starkey. This product offers an amplifier to enhance your awareness of soft environmental sounds while also protecting your hearing from impact noises such as gunfire or engines.
- Move away from the noise. Put a safe distance between you and the source of the noise. Each time you double the distance away from a loud sound, the noise is reduced 6 decibels (dB). For example if you were standing 10 feet from a noise source, and were to move 100 feet away from that noise source, you would expect to see a drop in level of 20dB. This makes a big difference in the amount of damage to your hearing!
- Make sure to have a regular hearing test with your audiologist. You may not be aware of the damage to your auditory system until it’s too late. A biennial hearing test is a good way to detect if there has been any damage to your hearing.