Have you heard? Hearing loss is the third most chronic health condition in the US.
Until hearing loss starts affecting relationships and quality of life, most of us don’t consider the importance of protecting our hearing. As part of caring for our overall health, we should all be aware of how we can protect ourselves from hearing loss.
Let’s hear some facts:
- The number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled in the past 30 years.
- 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous sound levels on a regular basis.
- 1 in 2 US adults have hearing damage but do not have noisy jobs.
- 1 in 4 US adults think they have great hearing, but already have hearing loss.
- Noise exposure is a risk factor for hearing loss.
- A noise hazard is defined as a noise that is 85 or more decibels. (A blender or food processor can create 80-90 decibels.)
- The maximum decibels coming out of earbuds can be up to 110 decibels.
What? I can’t hear you!
- If you have to raise your voice to be heard, the noise level is too loud.
- If you cannot hear someone talking who is 3 feet away, it is too loud.
- If noises around you sound muffled or dull after leaving a noisy area, it is too loud.
- If you have pain or ringing in your ears after leaving the area, it is too loud.
Take proactive steps to protect yourself and prevent hearing loss.
- Turn down the music.
- Wear protection if around loud noises.
- Avoid noisy places.
- Talk to your doctor about getting a hearing test.
For more information visit asha.org and cdc.gov.