5 Everyday Sounds That Could Cause Hearing Loss

  • By pugetsound
  • 06 Jun, 2017

5 Everyday Sounds That Could Cause Hearing Loss

Firecrackers! The pop of a gun at the shooting range! That incredible rock guitar solo at a live show! These are noises we think of when we think of ones that could harm our hearing. But did you know that there are common sounds that we experience every day that could also permanently damage our hearing? We may have gotten used to sounds that we hear on a regular basis. They may fall into the background because they’ve become a part of our routine. However, the long-lasting effects they have on our hearing is anything but routine. In fact, they could lead to noise-induced hearing loss.

What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss may occur after a one-time exposure to very loud noise, such as a firecracker or explosion (120 decibels), but it may also occur gradually. Gradual noise-induced hearing loss happens over a long period of time, when people are exposed to sounds at the 85-decibel range or above. Hearing specialists agree that listening to a sound at 85 decibels for an hour already has the potential to lead to permanent hearing loss. There are many noises we experience in our everyday life that meet or exceed this 85-decibel level. Here are five everyday sounds that could cause hearing loss.

Home Stereo Speakers at Maximum Volume

Music is a great motivator, whether you’re working, cooking, or cleaning. However, keep an eye on the volume level. Home stereo systems, at maximum volume, could hit anywhere between 110 to 140 decibels. This also includes your home entertainment system, which connects to your TV. When a one-time exposure to 120 decibels could cause permanent hearing loss on the spot, it is dangerous to keep your music at 110 decibels for an extended period of time! Follow the 60-60 rule recommended by hearing specialists: 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time. If you’re listening for many hours, be sure to take breaks to give your ears a rest.

Your Phone or Tablet

How many people still use their phones only to talk or send text messages? These days, we’re on our phones and tablets a whole lot, watching movies or listening to music. If you’re constantly streaming media on your phone or tablet, and listening to sounds through earbuds, listen up! Earbuds are convenient, but they are also incredibly harmful to our hearing. Since they do not cancel out background noise in your environment, people tend to turn the volume up high to hear over extraneous noise. Additionally, the position of earbuds in your ear canal creates noise conditions that are quite harmful. A better option is noise-canceling headphones. By canceling out background noise, you won’t feel the need to turn up the volume. There are also apps available to put a cap on your volume levels – shoot for 60% for healthy hearing.

Motorized Vehicles

Motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters are all really fun to ride around town. Snowmobiles and dirt-bikes are great for adventurers with a need for speed. For the amateur landscape artist, what’s better than your power mower? Make sure you use proper hearing protection on your favorite motorized vehicles. Engine sounds tend to range from 85 to 100 decibels. If you are a regular rider, invest in custom ear protection!

Blow Dryers

If you blow dry your hair every day or if you work as a hair stylist, pay heed. According to Kit Frank from NYU Langone Medical Center, “You’d probably have to dry your hair for eight hours straight before it did any damage, but that loud part of your beauty regime could add up over time. The more you use blow dryers and the longer you use them, the more likely you are to have damage. It might not do immediate damage, but over time it will.” Instead – consider air-drying your hair! Beauty experts do say that air-drying hair is a healthier option than applying heat regularly.

Power Tools

You don’t want to damage your hearing while fixing your house! If you’re a do-it-yourself home carpenter, invest in a pair of custom ear plugs. Power tools have been measured at decibels between 110 to 140. Just a few minutes with these sounds could harm your hearing permanently.

Experiencing Changes in Your Hearing?

Noise-induced hearing loss may gradually occur over time. If you are noticing changes in your hearing, come visit us at Puget Sound Hearing Aids and Audiology. We provide comprehensive hearing tests and hearing aid fittings.

Puget Sound Hearing & Audiology

By pugetsound 14 Jul, 2017
Tinnitus, which is often referred to as a “ringing of the ears,” affects 45 million Americans, including a large number of war veterans. Individuals suffering from tinnitus will hear pops, white noise, whistles, bursts of air without any external auditory stimulus; tinnitus is a sound that comes from within. Though tinnitus has been linked with hearing loss, there is no singular cause for it. There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective. Objective tinnitus is rare, comprising of less than 1% of tinnitus cases; with this type, both the person experiencing tinnitus and a person sitting nearby can hear the sounds. On the other hand, subjective tinnitus is the most common type, comprising 99% of cases. Subjective tinnitus is often linked with hearing loss. The Hearing Health Foundation estimates that 90% of tinnitus cases occur with an underlying hearing loss.
By pugetsound 11 Jul, 2017
Though hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States, it is not often discussed. In some cases, discussing hearing loss comes with the taboo of aging, while in other cases, people simply don’t notice because it is an invisible condition. As an invisible condition, hearing loss tends to develop gradually, sometimes over a span of many years. While hearing loss may affect people at any age, it tends to be most common among people age 65 years or older. Regardless of age, hearing loss affects 20% of the population in the US. People with hearing loss tend to treat the condition with hearing aids. Hearing aids provide people with hearing loss access to clear sounds and improved speech recognition, among a number of other incredible features. Hearing aids bring significant benefit to people who experience hearing loss; they reconnect people to the sounds in their life. Even with hearing aids, however, people with hearing loss find themselves in situations where communication may be difficult. In other instances, there are myths that need to be dispelled about hearing loss. Here, we’ve compiled the Internet for things people with hearing loss wish others understood about the condition.
By pugetsound 03 Jul, 2017
When we think of hearing loss, we tend to think about how we have to turn up the volume on our devices, or how it affects communication with our friends and family. Untreated hearing loss has long been linked to a range of health problems, as revealed by medical studies concerning areas such as dementia, balance, heart disease, and depression. As the third most common medical condition, hearing loss affects 48 million Americans, and one in three people over the age of 60. Approximately 60% of the workforce experiences some degree of hearing loss. While we tend to think of hearing loss affecting many circumstances external to us, it is also important to take a look inward. In the past few years, new light has been shed on how hearing loss affects our energy levels and our emotional well-being. A series of studies have linked untreated hearing loss to fatigue, including how hearing loss may affect the daily activities of people who are experiencing changes in their hearing – but have yet to seek treatment. Here we take a look at some of these studies and provide a few tips on self-care to prevent hearing loss fatigue.
By pugetsound 30 Jun, 2017
Hearing loss, if left untreated, has the potential to adversely affect many different areas of your life. Studies have indicated that people with untreated hearing loss tend to have lower earning power than colleagues who treat hearing loss with hearing aids. Additionally, people with untreated hearing loss are at higher risk for accidents, falls, and developing dementia. While these scenarios are more serious implications of untreated hearing loss, there is another side. We know that untreated hearing loss could affect our interpersonal relationships, due to difficulties with communication. Over time, people with untreated hearing loss withdraw and isolate themselves, so they do not have to struggle with communication. As such, people with hearing loss tend to be at risk for depression and anxiety. Researchers from Washington State University further explore this connection with a study on the link between your mood, dopamine levels, and hearing loss.
By pugetsound 30 Jun, 2017
Along with moisture and dirt, background noise is one of the greatest foes for people with hearing aids. While most hearing aids are equipped with features to help you cut through background noise to access clear sound, you may still find yourself in situations where the background noise may be too much. Here, we provide tips for hearing in noisy environments.
By pugetsound 23 Jun, 2017
Have you ever wondered what people in the past did when they experienced hearing loss? What about hearing loss itself – when was it formally recognized as a medical condition? Today, we are fortunate to have some of the most advanced hearing devices available to us. Modern hearing aids are fast, smart, and sleek – barely noticeable, with the incredible processing powers akin to computers. In fact, today’s hearing aids are closely aligned with other fast, wireless, smart electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Likewise, the history of hearing aids has closely followed the advent of mechanization and electric devices in the 19th and 20th centuries. Let’s take a journey back in time through a brief history of hearing aids to see how we arrived where we have today.
By pugetsound 20 Jun, 2017
From floods, fires and power outages to natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, emergencies can strike at any time, and often there is little we can do to prevent them. What we can do is plan ahead, making sure that in the event of an emergency we have the resources we need to weather the storm. If you, or your friend, family member or neighbor is hearing impaired, planning ahead means preparing a few extra items to ensure that communication will be possible, even in the worst circumstances. Here are a few steps that will help keep you and your loved ones safe.
By pugetsound 16 Jun, 2017
Hearing loss is a natural part of the normal aging process. It affects a significant portion of those over the age of sixty-five. Now that Baby Boomers are approaching this life stage, we’ll probably be hearing more and more about the effects of this phenomena, as a much larger percentage of our population will now be dealing with these challenges than ever before. A recent study by the National Council on Aging found that people with hearing loss were 50% more likely to experience depression. Of particular note is that this was specific to those with untreated hearing loss, making early detection and intervention even more important.
By pugetsound 12 Jun, 2017
About 20 percent of American adults, or 48 million, have some degree of hearing loss . Many of these adults are parents, and even more are grandparents. Parents with hearing loss often face additional challenges, from not being able to hear their newborn’s cry to understanding a child’s soft voice. For this Father’s Day, to celebrate the vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives, let’s take a look at a few techniques that can help hard of hearing parents connect with their little ones.
By pugetsound 06 Jun, 2017
Hearing is one of the five senses we rely on to take in information from the world around us, to help us make decisions, to stay safe, and to stay connected. Our sense of hearing developed over centuries, along with sight, taste, touch, and smell, to help us survive. They work in conjunction with each other; when one sense is impaired, another one steps up. For example, when ancient humans were in the dark, they relied on hearing to gather information about their surroundings. Without the conveniences of fire or electricity, it was footsteps on leaves or rocks that notified them that they were not alone. Even more remarkably, hearing does not stop working – unlike sight. When we fall asleep, we wake up because of an alarm. We take in sound information from all 360 degrees of our surroundings. Our auditory systems can pick up sounds that are close by, like a fan next to our bed, to sounds that are far outside our homes, such as a distant ambulance siren. With two ears, this is known as binaural hearing – the harmonizing of sounds picked up by both ears. For the most part, when you experience hearing loss, both ears are affected. In some cases, people experience single-sided hearing loss, and there are specially designed hearing devices for these instances. For people who experience hearing loss in both ears – bilateral hearing loss – one hearing aid just isn’t enough. Think about it – when you listen to music through a stereo, isn’t the sound better when you’re using both speakers? Similarly, two hearing aids are better than one, when you’re experiencing bilateral hearing loss.
More Posts
Share by: