Are you at risk for noise related hearing loss?
Noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Every day we experience normal sounds in our environment like television, radio, automobiles, buses and trucks.
When an individual is exposed to harmful sounds that are too loud or extended over time, sensitive structures of the inner ear can be damaged causing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).
Ten million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise. Thirty million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day.
The effects of noise on hearing are often underestimated because the damage takes place so gradually.
Here is a simple test you can use to learn if you’re in a high risk category for hearing loss.
- Do you have trouble understanding certain words or parts of words?
- Do you often ask others to repeat themselves?
- Do you have difficulties on the telephone?
- Do others complain about television or radio volumes?
- Do you have more trouble understanding people in noisy environments?
- Do sounds seem muffled?
- Do you experience ear discomfort like ringing or buzzing in the ears?
If you have to raise your voice to shout over the noise to be heard by someone within an arm’s length away, the noise is probably in the dangerous range. Some of the warning signs of the presence of or exposure to hazardous noise are listed below.
4 Danger Signals that an Environment Can Damage Your Ears
- You can’t hear someone three feet away.
- You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area.
- You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise.
- You suddenly have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise; you can hear people talking but you cannot understand them.
Keep in mind that even if you have experienced a degree of loss it is not too late to preserve what’s left of your hearing.
The first step is to avoid environments that can damage your ears!
NIHL is not a degenerative condition, unless you ignore it.
Get a Hearing Exam
Hearing is one of the most important senses that we use, especially when we monitor our environments for safety and security. Hearing also is linked directly to speech. Without effective use of hearing, people may become isolated and their quality of life may decline.
Therefore, hearing tests and other ear-related tests routinely are used to measure how well a person performs in comparison to others. An audiologist administers these tests.
If you suspect you have a hearing, ear or balance problem, contact both a physician and an audiologist for examinations.
The audiologist will administer painless tests that measure your hearing, ears and/or sense of balance; these test results can be used to maintain and improve your quality of life.
Assistive Listening Devices
AudioLink offers a number of assistive listening devices to address some of the more common forms of hearing loss.
For example, TV listening systems can also be used with home entertainment centers including stereo CD players. Also personalized hearing devices like the Williams Sound Pocketalker are stylish and easy to carry along with you anywhere for your listening needs.
Call AudioLink at 1-800-263-0112 for a free consultation on assistive listening devices.