We live in an increasingly noisy environment but the general hubbub of noise around us isn’t usually damaging to our ears. We rely on little hair cells in the cochlea part of the inner ear to convert sound into electrical impulses and when we are exposed to louder noise than our ears can handle, the hair cells are damaged resulting in a hearing loss and quite often tinnitus, too. Therefore, when sound exceeds normal listening levels for a considerable length of time, it can have irreversible effects on our inner ear.
Loud noise can include industrial noise such as that from heavy machinery, however, employers should be providing ear protection for anyone at risk in a work environment. Recreational noise such as clay pigeon shooting can also lead to damaging effects. If you are a musician, then it is likely that you are also exposed to damaging levels of noise. Sudden noises can also lead to acoustic trauma. This is often the case for those in the military where sounds such as a gun-shot or a blast causes a sudden loss of hearing and often a perforated ear drum. Dentists or dental hygienists may also be at risk of noise induced hearing loss and associated tinnitus, due to prolonged use of drills.
How to prevent noise related hearing loss.
Decibel is a measure of sound level and normal conversation is around 60dB. An alarm clock ringing can reach around 80dB. Anything above 85dB is classed as harmful. Motorcycles can reach around 120dB.
The main considerations are:
- Limit your exposure to loud sounds
- Turn down personal listening devices or get some custom made ear pieces to connect to your existing ear phones for a clearer listening experience.
- Wear ear protection Find out more
If you feel you have been exposed to loud noise and would like a hearing test or tinnitus assessment. Get in touch with us today
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