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2018-07-02 17:24:11
Preventing Hearing Loss

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the damage that can occur to the ear from sounds in our environment. Fortunately, NIHL is 100% preventable by taking the proper precautions. It’s important to understand the types of sound that can cause permeant damage.

  1. Sudden: Noises that are loud and sudden are particularly harmful. Fireworks and firearms can reach 150 decibels in milliseconds. The body can react to prolonged loud noises, but sudden loud noise can have a fully damaging effect.
  2. Close: Intensity of sound is an important factor in protecting ears from damage. Intensity is not the same thing as loudness. Distance is part of the formula to calculate intensity. Increasing the distance of the ear to the source of the sound will increase the intensity at a faster rate than increasing the volume of the sound. It’s less damaging to listen to music played from a speaker than earbuds that are inserted directly into the ear.
  3. Long: Although the body can react to loud prolonged noises, it can still cause damage over long periods of time. Noisy work environments such as construction sites can cause permeant damage if no precautions are taken.

There are simple steps you can take to prevent NIHL

  1. Know the types of noise that can cause damage. Anything above 85 decibels can cause harm. Common sounds that are over 85 decibels include motorcycles, music players at full volume, sirens, fireworks, and firearms.
  2. Wear ear protection. If you know you will be in a very noisy situation, plan ahead by bringing earplugs.
  3. Speak up if you can directly influence how loud the environment is. Let others know the dangers of NIHL.
  4. Cover your ears with your hands if you find yourself in a situation that you can’t control with dangerous sound levels.


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