Loud sound exposure is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, in fact, 10 million Americans have already suffered irreversible hearing damage from noise. Prevention is the best cure. Your hearing can be protected from additional damage by following the hearing loss prevention strategy, H.E.A.R.:
Hold Yourself Accountable – Practice behaviors that support healthy hearing for yourself and your family.
Evaluate Your Surroundings – Be aware of loud sounds in the environments you put yourself in. Loud sounds can damage hearing with long-term exposure to sound levels at or above 85 dBA SPL, such as a garbage disposal, motorcycle, or heavy machinery.
Avoid the Noise – Start with turning down the volume of your TV or your stereo. Whenever possible stay or move away from loud noise sources, like standing directly next to a speaker at a concert.
Remember Protection – If you are unable to avoid loud sounds, muffle it! Ear plugs decrease the intensity of sound traveling to your eardrum.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends an exposure limit of 85 decibels or lower, shown by the noise levels graphic below. For more information on hearing loss prevention, visit the NIOSH.