October Is National Protect Your Hearing Month

October 31, 2019

It’s important to raise awareness about the causes and prevention of hearing loss caused by noise. As such, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) launched National Protect Your Hearing Month. Statistics show that nearly 24 percent of adults in the United States between the ages of 20 and 69 have tested positive for some level of hearing loss in one or both ears. Since October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, we’ve put together some information to help you maintain your hearing health this month and all year long.

The trigger for noise-induced hearing loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. These tiny structures convert the sounds our ears pick up, called acoustic energy, into electrical signals that move along the auditory pathway to the brain. If these hair cells have been damaged from noise exposure, they cannot grow back. The result of this is permanent sensorineural hearing loss.

Signs your environment is too loud

The signs that you are in an environment that is too loud are relatively easy to pinpoint, but only of you maintain awareness. First, you may notice you have difficulty hearing someone who is standing right in front of you. Another common sign of too much noise is feeling pain in your ears or having difficulty understanding others’ words after being in a loud setting. Ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears is called tinnitus, which is a condition associated with hearing loss.

Ways to protect your hearing

Excessively loud noise can be harmful, whether you’re exposed to it for extended periods of time or in short spurts. And there are many ways and many situations in which you can come into contact with harmful noises during your daily routine, including working on a construction site, shooting guns, riding a motorcycle, being a first responder or military servicemember, handling commercial lawn equipment, attending or participating in certain sporting events, listening to loud music or attending a concert and more.

Always do your best to follow some basic rules to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss, such as turning down loud music, walking away from excessively noisy situations and wearing hearing protection (ear plugs, ear muffs, custom hearing protection). Try to limit the amount of time you’re exposed to noise, avoid high volume on radios and TVs and find out whether a medication you’re taking may be harming your hearing.

You might already suffer from hearing loss, or want to do everything you can to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss from occurring. The good news is there are things you can do to preserve your ability to hear well.

Hearing loss can affect anyone, regardless of age and lifestyle. Although October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, the experts at Potter’s Hearing Aid Service are ready to help you anytime. Contact us today with questions or to schedule a hearing test. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your concerns.

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