This short video explains the basics of how we hear that all ages can enjoy and understand. Enjoy Eddy as he explains the two most common types of hearing loss: conductive ( hearing loss in our middle ear) and sensorineural hearing loss (hearing loss in the inner ear including our cochlea and the nerves to our brain). Conductive loss can happen when we have an ear infection in our middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss can be congenital, genetic, develop due to loud noise exposure, or worsen as we get older.
How do you know when a sound is too loud and might be damaging to your hearing? Sounds greater than 85 decibels can cause damage to your inner ear and hearing. I found this sound ruler very helpful to understand how common sounds in our lives and environment can be damaging to our hearing and make us aware we need sound protection. Simply click on any of the numbers and have your speakers turned on to appreciate these brief examples of what type of sounds and noise levels can damage our hearing.
Click on this link to learn more about the Interactive Sound Ruler How Loud Too Loud.
Noise induced hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss that we see in our practice, and it can be prevented with good sound protection. Many times it is obvious to us that a sound is too loud if we are having pain, ringing in our ears, or difficulty hearing. However, many times I see patients who slowly over years of repetitive loud noise exposure develop hearing loss and tinnitus. Common sources of noise exposure include firearms, sirens, law mowers, power tools, and our personal devices for listening to music. Noise induced hearing loss can be prevented when we understand just how damaging loud noises can be for our hearing and our health.
Can Noise Induced Hearing Loss Be Prevented?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable. If you understand the hazards of noise and how to practice good hearing health, you can protect your hearing for life. Here’s how:
- Know which noises can cause damage (those at or above 85 decibels).
- Wear earplugs or other protective devices when involved in a loud activity (activity-specific earplugs and earmuffs are available at hardware and sporting goods stores).
- If you can’t reduce the noise or protect yourself from it, move away from it.
- Be alert to hazardous noises in the environment.
- Protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own.
- Make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the hazards of noise.
- Have your hearing tested if you think you might have hearing loss.
To read more about this click here to learn about Noise Induced Hearing Loss.