Noise is a large contributing factor to hearing loss, especially excessive noise. Excessive noise refers to being exposed to one-time noise over 120 decibels (the level of sound produced by a gunshot) or consistent or prolonged noise over 80 decibels (the sound of a passing motorcycle).
Noise Decibel Examples
Stereo system at maximum volume
It only takes one minute of exposure to these sounds to develop permanent hearing loss.
Continuous or prolonged exposure to these sounds can contribute to permanent hearing loss.
It is recommended that you should listen to 75 decibels or below to preserve hearing. Unfortunately, noises like traffic or overhead airplanes are impossible to control, so it’s important that you take other steps to protect your hearing as much as possible.
Daily Habits That Increase Your Risk of Hearing Loss
In your daily life, you may be doing things that could cost you your optimal hearing levels.
- Headphone use: Listening to music at high volumes through headphones can lead to permanent hearing loss.
- Not wearing ear protection at your job: Common jobs that require ear protection include military jobs, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, carpentry, plumbing.
- Lack of exercise: Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for hearing loss. Regular exercise can help you lose weight.
- Smoking: Chemicals in cigarettes can affect your overall health, including your hearing, as they damage the tiny mechanisms in the ear that aid in hearing ability.
- Having an infection: Not properly treating ear infections can cause damage over time, which can contribute to hearing loss.
- Excessive drinking: Studies have shown lifelong drinking can disrupt the brain’s ability to interrupt sound.
- Poor dental hygiene: Bacteria found in the mouth can enter the bloodstream, which causes heart problems. Poor circulation can then contribute to hearing loss because the mechanisms in the ear cannot get enough oxygenated blood, which they need to function properly.
You have control over many of these habits, so if you want to preserve your hearing as much as possible, improving these factors can go a long way. Consider the noises around you and find ways to reduce your exposure to them.
This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.com.