It’s a Loud, Loud World

It's a Loud, Loud World
Noise pollution is a feature of our increasingly crowded world and many people have already experienced dangerous hearing conditions. How can you tell if your hearing has been affected? It’s not as easy as you might suspect.

As a simple test, think about how your ears reacted to loud noise situations. If there was pain, a feeling of having your ears blocked, the need to shout in order to be heard, or a temporary buzzing or ringing in your ears, chances are you have experienced hearing damage.   
How does this damage happen? Inside the ear are small, delicate hairs that help conduct the noise that constitutes your hearing. Injury to these hair cells comes from exposure to loud noises that can be sudden or prolonged. This can result in temporary and permanent hearing loss. To guard against noise-induced hearing loss, you need to become familiar with and avoid dangerous decibel levels.

Any sound over 85 decibels exceeds what hearing experts consider the “safe” range. More than that and, over time, there’s a good chance you’ll damage your ears.

The average conversation between two people tunes in at about 60 decibels.

A motorcycle ramps the sound up to about 90 decibels — this exposure most likely wouldn’t damage hearing unless it was for an extended period of time.

The highest setting on your personal listening device can hover between 105 and 120 decibels — these levels are dangerous and can damage hearing.

Hearing loss should be addressed before it spirals into other issues such as depression and brain atrophy. If you think you’ve already experienced dangerous sound levels and want to find out if you have hearing damage, you should have your hearing tested.  Regular visits to a hearing provider will help you retain your hearing fitness.

What Are You Not Hearing?

When it comes to hearing loss, people are often confused because silence is easy to ignore. It is also easy to dismiss an inability to hear on a phone or in a crowded restaurant as being an isolated incident.

The truth is that hearing loss occurs at different levels, so not being able to hear in certain situations can be a sign of hearing loss.

Here are some questions than can help determine your hearing health:

1 Do you have a problem hearing on the telephone?

2 Do you have trouble hearing when there is noise in the background?

3 Do you have to strain to understand a conversation?

4 Do a lot of people seem to mumble or not speak clearly?

5 Do you often misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?

6 Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?

7 Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?

8 Do you often hear a ringing, roaring or hissing sound?

9 Do some sounds seem too loud?

10 Do you have trouble understanding when women or children speak?

If you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions, you could have a hearing problem and should make an appointment to have your hearing evaluated. Call Creekside Hearing Aid Service for a FREE hearing test and consultation during Better Hearing Month. (707) 999-2877

Don’t miss out on any of the sounds of your life!