Let’s admit it. We live in a loud world. From road traffic to construction works, booming music to lawn mowing, we expose our ears to unsafe noise levels every day.
Entering a highly noisy environment without any hearing protection can cause irreversible damage to our hearing. Unfortunately, we can find ourselves spending a lot of our time in such environments whether it is flying on an airplane or enjoying a crowded music concert.
The good news is that you can protect your ears while preventing noise-induced hearing loss with a little consideration and diligence.
There are three vital aspects to account for when it comes to preventing noise-induced hearing loss –Safe sound Levels, Noise Exposure Limits and Hearing Protection.
So what are safe listening levels?
Knowing daily permissible sound levels can help protect your ears from permanent hearing damage.
Here are some considerations:
- The average person with normal hearing can hear sound as low as 0dB.
- However, people with exceptionally good hearing are capable of hearing sounds down to -15dB.
- The normal recommended volume level of any sound considered safe is below 85 dB. Continuous exposure to sounds above 85dB can lead to permanent damage or hearing loss.
Why is Hearing Assessment necessary?
While you can prevent noise induced hearing loss by maintaining safe listening levels and protective your ear with appropriate hearing protection devices, it is important to determine your hearing condition if you regularly spend time in a noisy environment.
You might realise that it is difficult for you to hear in particular settings but you can’t determine the intensity of your hearing impairment without clinical hearing evaluation.
Hearing assessments are conducted by professional audiologists to measure what sound one can or cannot hear. Hearing can be evaluated differently in children and adults. Some of the common techniques include speech testing, pure-tone testing, auditory brainstem response and optoacoustic emissions.
Getting your hearing tested as soon as you spot common signs of hearing impairment can help your prevent permanent loss by finding a suitable solution to your problem.
Many audiology clinics conduct free hearing tests to help people identify potential hearing difficulty and receive hearing care and solution as needed.