Shield Your Healthy Hearing From Harmful Noise Levels
Exposure to excessive noise during work or leisure activities can increase a person’s risk of hearing loss and potentially worsen a pre-existing hearing problem. Continuous exposure to 85 decibels (dB) can have a detrimental effect on your hearing. Take for example, the noise of a street with constant heavy traffic. If the exposure to loud noise lasts for a an extended period of time, the cells responsible for our sense of hearing will be irreversibly damaged. Doctors consider exposure to loud music, such as a rock concert or via headphones, to be particularly dangerous since the sound intensity can sometimes reach 110 – 120 dB. The traumatic effect of a sudden loud sound, like an explosion, can also permanently damage hearing.
Other activities that may cause hearing loss over time include: use of a personal radio/CD player/stereo at a high volume; use of firearms; operating heavy machinery; use of power tools. The good news is that the noise in these cases is usually easily managed by turning down the volume or by wearing ear protection. Federal regulations govern allowable noise levels in the workplace, as well as the employer’s role in providing ear protection. More information on this subject can be found at www.osha.gov. In addition to using ear protection, those who are regularly exposed to noise should have their hearing tested regularly.
Certain medications are toxic to the ear. If you have a hearing loss, be sure to inform your doctor of your condition before beginning any new medications. There may be instances where other medications that are not toxic to the ear can be substituted.
How loud is too loud?
A general rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music/noise, it is too loud. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Communicable Diseases, noises above 85 dB can cause hearing damage.
Types of Hearing Protection
Since there is no cure for noise-induced hearing loss, prevention is the sensible alternative. Modern devices which protect your hearing such as commercially available earplugs or custom-made earmolds with various filter systems, can give effective protection against noise.
If you are exposed to continuous noise in your leisure activities or at work, contact us for advice on the latest hearing protection methods that will benefit and best suit your needs.
In-Ear Studio Monitors for Musicians
Research indicates that musicians are about four times more likely than the general population to suffer from hearing loss due to their profession. On top of time spent practicing instruments, concerts regularly exceed 110 dB — loud enough to cause hearing damage in a matter of minutes. Musicians who do not wear hearing protection face the likelihood of hearing loss at an early age, and they risk their careers in the process.
Southside Hearing Center‘s in-ear musicians’ monitors that are custom-fit to the unique contours of your ear, so they fit comfortably for your entire performance. The snug but comfortable seal ensures that you only hear sounds through your monitors at a volume that is appropriate for you and won’t damage your hearing — and the sound quality of our products are second to none.
Hearing Protection for Hunting
As a hunter, your ears face the risk of immediate damage from gunshots — if you fire them without proper ear protection. Southside Hearing Center offers an array of custom-fit, essential protective gear for hunters and shooters, military and police personnel, and industrial and manufacturing professionals. The hearing protection we fit you with is convenient to carry with you, and since it’s fit to the unique contours of your inner ear, it’s comfortable to wear.
We offer both standard hearing protection and electronic hearing protection for use wherever and whenever loud noise is a problem. Please call our office today or contact our office to schedule your appointment for custom-fit hearing protection!
Ear Protection for Swimmers
While there isn’t much to hear underwater, seasoned swimmers understand the importance of wearing ear protection to help prevent swimmer’s ear, surfer’s ear, and eardrum ruptures. Ear protection for swimmers help the ears equalize underwater, and are custom fit to create tight seals that keep the ear canal dry. Regular swimmers, or those who spend several hours per week performing activities in water, are encouraged to be fit for ear protection.