Hearing Loss Prevention
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Throughout your day, you can be exposed to many different sources of damaging noise levels. Some sources of damaging noise are:
- Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, power tools
- Traffic noise, subway noise
- Rock concerts
- Music through headphones from MP3 players
You can tell if noise is at a dangerous level if you have to shout to be heard, you can’t hear someone 3 feet away, the noise is painful to your ears, you experience a ringing in your ears after leaving the noisy environment or your hearing sounds “muffled” for several hours after being exposed to noise.
You can protect your hearing. Limit the amount of time you are exposed to loud sounds. Wear hearing protection such as earplug or ear muffs if you are going to be working with loud equipment or exposed to loud sounds for long periods of time. Turn down the volume when listening to MP3 players. Look for headphones or ear buds that isolate your ears from outside sounds. If you are consistently exposed to loud sounds, be sure to have your hearing tested regularly.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Some hearing losses may require treatment such as middle ear infections. However, the vast majority of hearing loss is not medically treatable and hearing instruments are the treatment choice. Properly treating hearing loss may involve a thorough case history, otoscopic examination, diagnostic hearing test, medical examination by a physician or medical waiver, hearing aid selection including consideration of life style and goal setting, assistive listening devices and technology, communication strategies, auditory training, and counseling to assist in adjusting to hearing aids.