Although you can’t see it or feel it, excessive noise does hurt your hearing — but it doesn’t have to. Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable! Let us teach you how to “rock responsibly” with hearing protection! Continue reading to learn more about hearing protection from your audiologist at Grace Hearing and Language Services.
Custom ear plugs are an excellent way to protect your hearing. Exposure to noise and high sound levels can result in a noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The more you listen to noise or loud sounds, the more likely you are to damage your hearing. There is a connection between excessive noise and hearing loss. The hearing loss may be temporary or permanent.
We are surrounded by noise in nearly all areas of modern life. Our ears are delicate and complex structures that are easily damaged. There is a strong connection between noise and hearing loss. We face hazardous sound levels at work, using household equipment, using outdoor or gardening equipment and tools, during travel, while listening to music, in a night club, and at a concert.
How many decibels are too loud?
A continuous noise level of 85 dB (8 hours or more) will result in hearing damage causing temporary or permanent hearing loss. This is the sound level of heavy road traffic. Compressed air hammers have a sound level of about 100 dB and rock concerts often reach 110-120 dB or more, which is the same sound intensity easily produced by stereo headsets. Children are suffering with hearing loss at younger ages from playing media using ear buds and headphones. Children have access to these at schools and kindergartens.
Noise exposure and intense sounds can cause two main types of hearing loss, namely temporary threshold shift and permanent threshold shift.
What is temporary threshold shift?
Temporary threshold shift is mostly experienced as a temporary dullness in your hearing after exposure to loud noises. Your hearing will subsequently recover – depending on how loud the noises have been and how long you have been exposed to them.
What is permanent threshold shift?
Permanent threshold shift is first experienced within 48 hours after exposure to excessive noise. Permanent threshold shift can occur if you have been regularly exposed to excessive noise levels for long periods of time. It can also occur if you are exposed to very high sound levels for a short period of time. Hearing does not recover from this loss.
The damaging effect on the hair cells from noise exposure accumulates over time.
After constant exposure to excessive noise, those hair cells deteriorate and do not regenerate. Even a single incident of exposure to an extremely loud noise, such as fireworks or gun shots can trigger immediate hearing loss or tinnitus.