Protecting your Hearing

by FS&TS

By Christianna Mullins, CCC-SLP

One role of speech-language-hearing professionals is to raise awareness of and help prevent hearing loss.

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Did you know the following recreational activities can cause hearing damage?

  • Hunting and target shooting
  • Snowmobiling
  • Loud Concerts
  • Using MP3s and earbuds

These can all lead to noise-induced hearing loss, a gradual painless process that leaves permanent damage.

How can I tell if the noise that I am hearing is dangerously high?

  • I have to raise my voice to be heard
  • I cannot hear someone who is 3 feet away
  • Speech sounds muffled after I leave a noisy area
  • I have ringing or pain in my ears after exposure to loud noise

Do I need to avoid these activities altogether?

No, there are steps to take that can facilitate healthy consumption of these activities.

  • Use Earmuffs
  • Use Earplugs
  • Plug your ears with your fingers when there is a brief, loud noise such as a fire alarm
  • Lower the loudness of the sound on MP3s to less than half the volume

Resources:

http://www.asha.org/bhsm/

http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Noise/